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Jays blue about pen

Yankee fans are fretting over Mariano Rivera's second straight meltown Friday night in Boston but this view says the Blue Jays have a much bigger problem on their hands with the absence of B.J. Ryan.

Toronto blew a two-run lead over the final two innings for the second straight day Friday and lost to the Orioles, 5-4, on Nick Markakis' RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Without Ryan, gone for 4-6 weeks with elbow trouble, the Blue Jays are trying to decide if they should be using Shawn Marcum, Jason Frasor or Victor Zambrano in late-game situations. None are nearly as good as Ryan of course.

Roy Halladay went 7 1/3 innings Thursday against the Red Sox, leaving with a two-run lead. A.J. Burnett threw seven innings Friday, also handing off a two-run advantage. Neither got a win and manager John Gibbons seems to be as frustrated as anybody by the Jays' troubles.

Gibbons barked at the media after Friday's game: "The guys are busting their butts," he said. "If you want to print, `Fire Gibbons. He used the wrong guys again.' I don't give a [bleep]."

---Mike Harrington

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