Two down, 160 to go?

The atmosphere may have been different in the stands at the Rogers Centre Tuesday night. After all, less than 17,000 fans were on hand compared to Monday’s night’s near-capacity crowd of 48,000-plus. But the result on the field was the same – a victory for the home side over the Detroit Tigers.

With a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, Rod Barajas provided the Blue Jays with a 5-4 win, thus improving the club’s record to 2-0 on the 2009 campaign. That came just a half-inning after Toronto’s catcher watched B.J. Ryan serve up a game-tying home run to Brandon Inge that tied the score at four runs apiece and momentarily deflated those that came out to support Cito and the boys.

57210484GS004_Toronto_Blue_And you can’t blame them. Aaron Hill had just hit a three-run homer – his first post-concussion blast – in the bottom of the eighth off former Jay Brandon Lyon to give Toronto a 4-3 lead heading into the final frame. In fact, Toronto scored all four of its runs to that point in the eighth – the other coming on a solo homer by Scott Rolen, who finished the night 2-for-4.

Up until the eighth, the Jays’ offense had been kept in check – largely thanks to a solid outing by Tigers starter Edwin Jackson. Making his season debut, Jackson gave up just two runs – one earned – on two hits over 7.1 innings of work, adding four strikeouts in the process.

Jackson’s counterpart, David Purcey, wasn’t too shabby either. In fact, the 26-year-old left-hander coasted through much of the game as well, allowing just a single run in the third before running into trouble in the seventh. Following an RBI double by Marcus Thames, Purcey allowed another run to score after making a throwing error to centre field to give the visitors a 3-0 advantage. When he left, Purcey’s line looked like this: 7.0 IP, three runs – two earned – on five hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

Certainly an effort that should impress Blue Jays fans. He kept Toronto in the game and, realistically, that’s all that’s being asked of starters two through five following Roy Halladay this season. Keep the club in the game and let the offense do the work. Hey, it worked Tuesday night.

Quick hits: Look for Scott Downs to see action soon as the closer after Ryan’s blown save Tuesday night … Though he walked a pair, right-hander Shawn Camp got out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, getting Gerald Laird to pop out to first baseman Lyle Overbay.

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