Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said before Friday’s game that he was excited to see his rotation healthy. Unfortunately for Gibbons and the Blue Jays, the healthy rotation only lasted a few hours and they enter Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox uncertain about the condition of one of their key starters.
A.J. Burnett left Friday’s 12-inning 7-6 win over Boston in the fourth inning because of a sore elbow. He started the season on the disabled list after scar tissue broke off his elbow during spring training. A Blue Jays spokesman said Friday’s injury was “consistent with what he experienced in spring training.”
But despite the blow the possibility of losing Burnett for the year would have on the team, Gibbons remains focused on the team’s next game.
“Nothing you can do about it,” he said. You have to move on. The game goes on in this business, with or without guys. You just have to hold down the fort.”
Toronto (8-7) will start Roy Halladay (1-1, 4.20 ERA) on Saturday for the first time in more than a week. He missed his scheduled start last Saturday because of stiffness in his arm.
Halladay has now had 12 days rest since giving up five runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings on April 9 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a 5-2 loss.
The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner is 7-6 with a 4.46 lifetime ERA against the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays trailed by four heading into the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday, when Russ Adams and Vernon Wells each homered off Red Sox starter Josh Beckett and Troy Glaus homered off reliever Mike Timlin to tie the game.
Toronto won it in the 12th on Lyle Overbay’s RBI double.
Manny Ramirez ended a 16-game home run drought by hitting two homers on Friday. It was his 44th career multi-homer game.
Ramirez had a rough start to the season after asking to be traded during the offseason and arriving late to spring training. Boston’s slugging left fielder had struggled at the plate and entered Friday’s game against the Blue Jays batting .259 with only one extra-base hit.
Lenny DiNardo (0-0, 3.48) makes his second start of the season for the Red Sox (11-6), filling in for fellow left-hander David Wells (strained right knee). He went five innings in Monday’s 7-6 win over the Seattle Mariners, giving up two runs and six hits against the Seattle Mariners and earning no decision in a game Boston eventually won on a ninth-inning Mark Loretta homer.
He made two relief appearances earlier in the season, including one against the Blue Jays on April 12 where he gave up one run and six hits over three innings.
“I have a game plan against every hitter,” DiNardo said. “I’m just going to go out there and pitch aggressively as possible and just use my game. I’m not going to try to go out there and pitch anybody else’s game.”