TORONTO - Rajai Davis made good on a hunch he would get a chance to win the game in the 10th inning.
The outfielder drove an 0-2 slider into the left-centre field gap to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-5 comeback victory over the struggling Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
“I was expecting to get that opportunity to win it in the end,” said Davis. “Coming up fourth in that inning, just needed one person to get on base. I was ready for the opportunity and fortunately I was able to take advantage.”
Davis had an opportunity to put the Blue Jays into the lead in a bizarre three-run eighth in which the Blue Jays tied the game 5-5 to deprive Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee his first win of the season in his 11th start.
But with two runners in scoring position, he ended the inning with a fly out to left.
He made no mistake in the 10th. Yunel Escobar led off with a walk off reliever Joe Savery (0-2). With Mike McCoy batting, Savery was called for a balk to send Escobar to second who later moved to third on McCoy's groundout.
After J.P. Arencibia struck out, Davis hit his long single.
“It’s always nice when you can help the team win in dramatic fashion especially being down 0-2 (in the count),” Davis said.
“It looked like a hanging breaking ball to me. It looks like it was a mistake. I was able to put a good swing on it and found the gap.”
“That's a mistake and you make mistakes at this level, you get burned,” Savery said. “If we're going to win, we definitely have to play a lot better and we have to play more consistent.”
Francisco Cordero (2-4) pitched the top of the 10th to get the win.
Lee allowed 12 hits, including a home run by Escobar, and five runs in seven innings. He did not get an out from the three batters he faced in the eighth inning.
Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero allowed four runs on seven hits, including John Mayberry's three-run homer in the third, in his six innings.
“I made one bad pitch with two outs,” Romero said. “You can’t let that happen. We’ve got to shut down the inning quick and I hung that curveball and it barely went over. Other than that all you can ask for is go out there and grind out whatever you can.”
The Blue Jays (33-32) have three starters – Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison --on the disabled list. Hutchison placed on the disabled list with a sprained ligament earlier Saturday.
"We're going to need every quality inning from Ricky Romero, we're going to need every quality inning we can get from anybody that walks to the mound,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said, “but Ricky is in that slot right now for us where he's got to lead the way.”
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Romero said. “I love what I do and that’s competing and trying to get wins for our team. It’s unfortunate to lose Brandon, Drabek and Hutch It’s been a little rough. “
Lee entered the eighth with a 5-2 lead.
Jose Bautista led off with a walk and Edwin Encarnacion singled to left. As Bautista headed to third, Encarnacion took off for second on the throw to the infield.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins cut off the ball and threw wildly to second, allowing both Bautista and Encarnacion scored.
“We take a lot of pride in playing defence,” Rollins said. “We’ve done it for years but this year I don’t know. It’s been crazy. The play today — setting him up for that play, like hoping he was running. I turn around and sure enough he’s there and it was my fault. Just threw it into right field.”
After a single by Kelly Johnson, Chad Qualls replaced Lee.
Pinch-hitter David Cooper snapped a 0-for-18 drought with a single that moved Johnson to third. Arencibia tied the game when he doubled to end an 0-for-13 drought.
“We find a way to lose the game,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies (31-36) scored their first run of the series on back-to-back doubles by Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence in the first inning.
Escobar tied the game with two out in the bottom of the second when he hit his fourth homer of the season after the Phillies left the bases loaded in the top of the inning.
But Mayberry, whose father played for the Blue Jays from 1978 to 1982, hit a three-run homer in the third. The left-fielder's fourth homer of the season followed two-out singles by Shane Victorino and Ty Wigginton.
The Blue Jays got a run back in the home half of the third on a single by Colby Rasmus that scored Davis.
Right-hander Robert Coello gave up a run on a ground-rule double by Rollins in the eighth. The hit came after two-out walks to Brian Schneider and Michael Martinez.
“I've seen that quite a bit,” Manuel said. “We don't get it done. In every phase of the game, we make mistakes.”
Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 42,070. ... Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. who is batting .362 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs, did not play after leaving Friday's 3-0 Blue Jays victory in the fifth inning with a strained left oblique muscle. ... With Hutchison placed on the disabled list, the Blue Jays promoted Coello from triple-A Las Vegas who entered Saturday's game in the seventh. ... Lee had never gone more three starts into a season without a win before this year. ... Brett Cecil will make his first start of the season Sunday for Toronto after being called up from triple-A. He goes against Philly's Kyle Kendrick (2-6, 5.08 earned-run average).