07/15/2003 10:46 PM ET
'Memorable' night for Blue Jays
CHICAGO -- All things considered, things couldn't have turned out much better for the Blue Jays than they did Tuesday night at the 74th All-Star Game at U.S. Cellular Field.
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
"I don't see how," said Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells, who went 1-for-2 with a double and drove in a run during the American League's 7-6 victory. "We came back and won against some of the best relievers in baseball."
Though Texas' Hank Blalock provided the big blow with a game-winning home run in the eighth inning, the Blue Jays contributed their fair share to the effort. Roy Halladay didn't get to pitch, but even that had a silver lining the Blue Jays have to be happy about.
"He'll be rested and ready to go," Wells said. "We're going to need him ready and rested for the second half."
Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado finished 1-for-3 and also drove in a run. Wells and Delgado were a combined 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.
"When you play in an All-Star Game, you just want to make sure you don't mess up," Wells said. "We didn't, and we were able to contribute to the cause, so I'm very happy about that. This was a memorable night all the way around."
Delgado, facing Jason Schmidt in the first inning, lifted a 2-1 pitch to left field, where it was caught by Albert Pujols of St. Louis for the third out of the inning. Delgado made a nice play in the second, reaching into the stands along the first-base side to grab Gary Sheffield's foul pop. ( The play: 56k | 300k)
Delgado came up in the third with two outs and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki on second. Delgado, who leads the Majors with 97 RBIs, took a curveball for a called strike and then a fastball outside to even the count. Philadelphia lefty Randy Wolf delivered another curveball, and Delgado laced it to left field for an opposite-field RBI single that gave the American League a 1-0 lead.
"That's what he's been doing all year. When there's a guy in scoring position he gets him home," Wells said.
Delgado came up with two outs and Ichiro on first in the fifth inning but struck out swinging on a 3-2 fastball from Atlanta's Russ Ortiz. Delgado left the game at that point and was replaced by the Yankees' Jason Giambi.
Wells didn't enter the game until the fourth inning, when he went in to run for Hideki Matsui of the Yankees. Wells stayed in the game and played center field. His first time up, in the sixth against Woody Williams of St. Louis, Wells flied out to Andruw Jones of Atlanta on the warning track in center.
Wells saved his best for last against Eric Gagne of the Dodgers, who has converted 31-of-31 save opportunities this season.
With a runner on third and one out in the eighth, Wells doubled to the gap in left-center to cut the National League's lead to 6-5 and set the stage for Blalock's big blast.
"Nobody would have thought we would come back against them tonight," Wells said. "When [Blalock] hit [the home run] we were all jumping up and down and going crazy. It was a great game and a great comeback against some very tough pitchers."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.