PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Rod Barajas heard the familiar sound of boos from unforgiving Phillies fans. Then he gave them another reason to dislike him.
Burnett (4-4) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out eight. Scott Downs escaped a jam in the seventh and B.J. Ryan pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in as many chances.
Barajas drew the ire of Phillies fans last year when he failed to crouch low enough to block the plate, allowing Hanley Ramirez to slide underneath him with the tying run in the ninth inning of a game at Florida on May 23. Barajas was jeered the rest of the season and didn’t get an offer to return after one year in Philadelphia.
“In the clubhouse, I loved the guys and I had a good relationship with everybody,” Barajas said. “On the field, it was a different story. It’s almost like you have 40,000 people rooting against you. That’s not what you want. As a home player, you like to have your fans behind you.”
The Phillies rallied off Armando Benitez after manager John Gibbons removed Burnett with one out and a runner on in the seventh. Benitez walked pinch-hitter Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins followed with a two-run double to cut it to 4-3.
Rollins went to third on a passed ball, but Jayson Werth struck out. Left-hander Scott Downs entered and hit Chase Utley on the left hand with a fastball. After Gibbons was ejected for arguing Utley swung at the pitch, Ryan Howard lined out to right field to end the inning.
Utley missed 28 games last year after a pitch broke his right hand. It didn’t appear this was as serious.
Before coming out, Burnett had retired eight of the previous 10 batters with five strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches.
“I was just trying to mix it up, vary speeds and keep them off-balance as best I can,” Burnett said.
Barajas gave the Blue Jays a two-run cushion with a solo shot off Tom Gordon in the ninth. He tied a career-best with five RBIs. Toronto got another run when first baseman Howard dropped a throw on pinch-hitter Hector Luna’s infield single, allowing Aaron Hill to score from second.
Phillies starter Adam Eaton (0-2) quickly got in trouble in the second after hitting Matt Stairs with a pitch leading off. Lyle Overbay and Marco Scutaro followed with singles to load the bases. Barajas then ripped his third career grand slam into the right-field seats to give the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead.
Barajas enthusiastically slapped hands with the base coaches and teammates in the dugout. No doubt the backup catcher heard the boos when he was announced.
“Absolutely,” he said. “People in (New) Jersey could hear the boos. You hear that. You notice them. You don’t let it bother you.”
Eaton allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings to remain winless in nine starts this season, even though the Blue Jays had three runners thrown out at home and one at second base.
“Wrong things happen at the right time,” Eaton said.
Greg Dobbs had an RBI double in the fourth inning for the Phillies’ first run.
Werth was 0-for-2 with two walks a night after hitting three homers and tying a franchise record with eight RBIs.
: RHP Kris Benson pitched a simulated game for the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. It was Benson’s first action since a groin injury delayed his recovery from rotator cuff surgery on his throwing shoulder. … Barajas hit Toronto’s third slam of the season. He has five career multihomer games. … Ryan hasn’t allowed in 13 innings this season.