Blue Jays 4, White Sox 2
TORONTO (AP)—Josh Phelps’ first trip around the bases turned out to be a warmup. He did it for real four pitches later.
Phelps hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning—four pitches after having one overturned—and the Toronto Blue Jays won their season-high fourth straight with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Phelps hit Neal Cotts’ first pitch down the right-field line for what first-base umpire Larry Vanover ruled was a two-run homer. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen argued the call and the umpires huddled and overruled Vanover’s call, changing it to a foul ball. Television replays indicated the ball was foul.
Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca came out to argue after the call was reversed, and that gave Phelps a chance to compose himself.
A few minutes later, Phelps homered over the left-field wall off Cotts (0-1), giving Toronto a 4-2 lead.
“It’s a long way to run when you have to do it all over again,” said Phelps, who had never seen it happen before. “What are the odds? It’s just a nice result at the end of an at-bat, as crazy as that at-bat was.”
Phelps wondered if the second shot would stay fair. It barely did.
“When I saw it go up, I was thinking this can’t happen twice in the same at-bat,” he said. “It started to hook, then it straightened out and after that I knew I was on safe ground.”
Phelps became the second player do it in the last two weeks. Kansas City’s Ken Harvey homered against Texas on April 28, one pitch after having one overturned because it was ruled foul.
“That’s a first for me,” Tosca said. “The one thing about this game is that you’re going to see things that you’ll probably never see again.”
Jason Frasor (1-1) pitched the eighth for his first major league win, and Terry Adams pitched the ninth for his first save of the season. The Blue Jays have won five of their last six at home after starting the season 1-9 at SkyDome.
“This is a confidence booster,” Phelps said. “This is what we need here at home. We were losing close games.”
Joe Crede hit a two-run homer for the White Sox.
“We got a big hit from Crede, but (Miguel) Batista pitched very well,” Guillen said. “You’re not going to win many games scoring two runs.”
Batista pitched seven strong innings, but he hasn’t won in seven starts with his new team. Batista signed a three-year, $13 million contract in the offseason after going 10-9 with a 3.54 ERA for Arizona last season.
Batista didn’t care that he didn’t get a win.
“This game is not for personal glory. You just need the team to win,” Batista said.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the third inning off Chicago starter Scott Schoeneweis. Four straight hitters reached as Dave Berg singled, Vernon Wells hit an RBI double, Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch and Phelps hit an RBI single.
Crede tied it in the fifth with his seventh homer of the season.
Chicago center fielder Timo Perez robbed Reed Johnson of extra bases with a diving catch in the fifth. … Toronto shortstop Chris Woodward is day-to-day with a tight right hamstring. … Schoeneweis allowed two runs onsix hits in seven innings.