ARLINGTON -- If you'd told Cito Gaston before Friday's game that his club would put up eight runs with Shaun Marcum on the mound, he would have liked the Blue Jays' odds of leaving Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with a victory. "It's not often we put up eight runs and lose with the pitching staff we have," said Gaston, whose club had scored six combined runs its previous four games. "Most of the time we score eight runs, we're going to win." Toronto did score eight runs Friday night, but it didn't win. Twice the Blue Jays intentionally walked Marlon Byrd to get to David Murphy and both times it cost them. In the bottom of the ninth, it cost Toronto to the tune of a 9-8 loss.
It was just Toronto's third loss when scoring eight runs in a game. The Blue Jays led 6-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, and 8-6 going into the bottom of the ninth. Marcum and closer B.J. Ryan were entrusted to preserve both leads. They were both unsuccessful. "That's a tough loss," Gaston said. "We battled hard and they battled hard, but they came out on top. They hit .282 as a team, so they're never out of a game. That kid Murphy got us twice tonight." Murphy first got Toronto in the fifth inning, when Jesse Carlson intentionally walked Byrd to load the bases and get to Murphy. Murphy singled to center, brining in two runs, which erased Toronto's early lead and tied the game at 6. The humdinger from Murphy capped off Texas' ninth-inning rally. With one run already in off Ryan to bring Texas to within one, again Byrd was walked in favor of a lefty-on-lefty matchup. The result was identical. Murphy singled just inside the third-base line to drive in the tying and winning runs. If the Blue Jays expected Murphy to buckle under the late-inning pressure, they were mistaken. "Actually, that motivates you even more when they feel they can beat me easier no matter what the numbers say," Murphy said. "It motivates you even harder to get that guy." But the game began to slip away long before Ryan allowed five consecutive baserunners and three runs in the ninth inning. Marcum, making his third start since returning from the disabled list with a strained right elbow, cruised through the first three innings, allowing just one baserunner -- a seeing-eye double in the second. Marcum didn't walk his first and only batter until the fourth inning, but he said afterwards that his command wasn't nearly as pinpoint as the numbers were suggesting. "The whole game, I didn't locate my fastball at all," Marcum said. "It's hard to win if you can't locate your fastball. If you can't locate it, you have no business pitching in the Major Leagues. I'm confident. I don't know what it is." Evidence of his lack of command started to emerge when he served up a two-run home run to Josh Hamilton in the fourth inning that put Texas' first runs on the board. In the fifth, he fell apart. After retiring the first batter of the inning, he allowed four straight hits and was removed from the game. He'd already allowed two runs in the inning, and two more scored off Carlson and were charged to Marcum. After the fourth, the Toronto offense that had looked so engaged scoring six early runs went back into hiding and was shut out the next four innings. Scott Rolen, who hit his first home run since June 26 in the second inning, went 0-for-3 the rest of the night. Lyle Overbay, who blasted a home run to right field in the third inning, never got past first base in three more at-bats. After collecting eight hits the first four innings, Toronto posted just five the rest of the game. The final Blue Jays hit of the night was Adam Lind's RBI triple in the top of the ninth that gave Toronto a 7-6 lead. He later scored on a groundout, but the two runs he accounted for were of little use in the end. "That's just how the game goes," Lind said. "That's why you play nine innings instead of seven like in high school."
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.