Brewers almost throw away Bush's 2-hit gem
Former Toronto hurler haunts his old team
David Bush took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and then had to watch as the Brewers' bullpen almost handed it back before wrapping up an 8-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon in Milwaukee.
The former Blue Jay's bid for a no-hitter was ruined by Lyle Overbay — ironically, the man he was traded for prior to the 2005 season — who hit a triple to left field that Ryan Braun dove for but couldn't reach.
"I knew if Braun was going to make the catch, it was going to be an outstanding play," Bush said. "Braun made a good effort for it."
"Somebody had to do it," Overbay said. "That is the last thing you want to do, is get no hit.
"We were hitting. He was doing a good job, but somebody was bound to get on base."
Bush had come in with only a 2-7 record and an earned-run average over five, but got healthy again on the Jays' offence.
It almost went for naught as Milwaukee relievers gave up six runs in the top of the ninth, keyed by a grand slam by Joe Inglett, to make it close.
Closer Salomon Torres gave up an infield single to Rod Barajas before striking out Fredericton's Matt Stairs to end the game.
"It wasn't nerve-racking at all," Brewers manager Ned Yost quipped. "I got a little nervous, but I knew I had Torres out there and we would be in pretty good shape."
Toronto starter A.J. Burnett, who riled Jays fans this week by saying in an interview he wouldn't mind playing for the Chicago Cubs, was just terrible, falling to 6-7 after giving up eight runs on eight hits in five innings.
It was Toronto's fifth straight loss, 13th in 17 and dropped the Jays further into the basement of the American League East at 35-39.
Milwaukee swept the three-game series to go to 39-33.
Bush strong from the start
Bush, who had a one-hitter for Toronto back in 2004, was perfect through five before giving up a walk to Gregg Zaun, but he settled down for two more innings until Overbay's triple in the eighth.
"I just sit by myself [because] it helps me stay focused," Bush said. "It is my way of trying to keep myself focused and not get caught up in the rest of the game.
"I would say it was probably after the sixth that I actually started thinking about it. The game is starting to wind down and you kind of see what happens."
After Overbay tripled, Alex Rios delivered him with a single to left to make the score 8-1, but Bush ended his outing with a groundout.
"I lobbied to go back out in the ninth, but Ned said I'd had enough for the day," Bush said.
Brewers reliever Tim Dillard gave up a two-run home run to Overbay in the ninth, followed by a walk and single.
David Riske then came in to walk David Eckstein, loading the bases and putting the tying run on deck.
Inglett followed with a grand slam to right-centre, making it 8-7.
Torres finally put an end to it all.
A.J. lousy early
Burnett sailed through the first two batters of the game before getting into trouble.
Consecutive singles brought up right-fielder Corey Hart, who doubled into left-centre, scoring a pair to make it 2-0.
Burnett, who had promised earlier in the week to "pitch to the best of my ability as long as I'm a Blue Jay" gave up a one-out single, then a two-out walk and a double — the latter by J.J. Hardy, who drove in Jason Kendall to make it 3-0.
Then there was the third, where Burnett walked the first two batters before letting Russell Branyan take him out for the third baseman's 10th homer of the season, and it was 6-0.
Rios has brain cramp
The fifth inning may stand as symbolic of everything that's gone wrong for the Jays this season.
Prince Fielder shot one down the right-field line and into the corner, where the ball stuck in the bottom of the padded wall.
Rios put his hand up to let the umpire know he thought it should be ruled a ground-rule double.
But the umpire ran several steps down the line before throwing his arms out in a "safe" signal, indicating the ball was still in play.
"I thought the umpire was going to make a call and he never made a call so I grabbed it and threw it," Rios said. "He took forever."
By the time Rios got the ball back into the infield, Fielder, who weighs 270 pounds, had rumbled all the way home for an inside-the-park home run and a 7-0 bulge.
Later in the inning, a double by Kendall scored Gabe Kapler to make it 8-0.
With files from the Canadian Press