Ricky Romero got the win and J.P. Arencibia belted a two-run home run but in the aftermath of the Blue Jays 3-2 victory over Tampa there was sadness, too. Ryley James Martin of Oshawa, an energetic 2 1/2 years old who entertained both Romero and Arencibia with his smile and enthusiasm prior to the Jays April 2 game against the Minnesota Twins, died of leukemia on Wednesday. The two players received the tragic news about young Ryley, the lone boy of the Martin triplets, prior to last night's contest against the Rays. Both dedicated Thursday's game to his memory. With added inspiration, Romero came up with his second consecutive powerful performance as he held the Rays to three hits — one a solo home run — over seven innings for the win while Arencibia snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run, seventh-inning homer. In the post-game scrum, Arencibia held up a picture of himself and Ryley taken back in April when he was cavorting in front of the Jays dugout. "I shed a few tears after that home run," Arencibia said. "It's one of those things that were for him, the game was for him and I'm glad that we were able to come out on top. "When I hit that home run and it gave us the lead, in my head, I said: 'That's it, we're going to seal this deal.' I came inside as quickly as possible and took a look at this picture. In the grand scheme of things, that home run is a home run but life is precious. It puts stuff in perspective for us. It shows you how blessed we are." After the game Arencibia got the game ball and it was signed by all the players and it will be given to the family along with a message written by the rookie catcher.
Leukemia victim inspires Jays
Toronto Sun | May 20