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Accardo looking at bright side

If 51s closer Jeremy Accardo hadn’t gotten married and become a father this summer, he said he probably would be more upset about being stuck in Triple A for the second straight year.

“Those two things right there are the only reasons why this has been a great year,” said Accardo, 28. “If I didn’t have my wife (Carly) and my son (Larson) and my family, it would be just like last year, (and I’d be) a little miserable and bitter.”

After spending most of last season in Las Vegas, the former Blue Jays closer pined for a fresh start with another team.

But after speaking with new Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, he avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $1.08 million contract for this season.

“I was lied to a lot last year, where I was told one thing and something else ended up happening,” Accardo said. “That didn’t sit well with me, but I turned (over) a (new) leaf and we talked and he told me everything’s going to change, and really things haven’t changed.”

Accardo had an unfortunate outing Saturday at Cashman Field, blowing a save and taking the loss in a 12-10 defeat by the Reno Aces. He gave up two runs, one earned, and four hits as the 51s suffered their ninth straight loss, their longest skid of the season, before a crowd of 8,670.

Accardo entered in the eighth inning with two on and one out. He got Brandon Allen to ground out before allowing a tying RBI single to Ed Rogers and a go-ahead RBI single to Yunesky Sanchez.

It was just another episode in a season that hasn’t gone according to plan for Accardo. He began the year with Toronto but saw no action for the first two weeks and then struggled in the five appearances he made — going 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA.

“That’s not setting someone up for success in my eyes,” said Accardo, who allowed six runs on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays. “I’m not making excuses … but it’s tough to get in a groove when you don’t pitch.”

Accardo was sent to Las Vegas on April 29, and he has remained despite dominating the Pacific Coast League for long stretches. He long ago expected to be recalled by the Jays, to no avail.

After allowing four runs in his first six outings with Las Vegas, Accardo held opponents to five runs in his next 28 appearances. He’s 2-2 with 23 saves and a 3.59 ERA, and his numbers would be even better if not for a three-game stretch this month — which started two days after the birth of his son — in which he allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

One of three September call-ups by the Blue Jays last season, when he had a 2.55 ERA in 26 appearances for Toronto, Accardo said he doesn’t know what to expect this year.

“It’s a big question mark,” he said.

51s pitching coach Dave LaRoche said Accardo doesn’t belong in Triple A.

“Actually, his stuff might be better this year,” LaRoche said. “He can get frustrated, but I try to remind him he’s not just pitching for Toronto, he’s pitching for all the rest of the teams, too, because there are scouts at every game, almost.”

Accardo said he’s a better pitcher than in his career year of 2007, when he replaced B.J. Ryan as the Blue Jays closer and had 30 saves and a 2.14 ERA.

“I might not have the same fastball as I did, but I don’t need it. I can hit corners, sink and cut and do different things,” he said. “I’ve learned how to pitch instead of just throw, which is better.”

■ NOTES — 51s shortstop Mike McCoy was promoted to Toronto, and Las Vegas pitchers Sean Henn and Rommie Lewis were placed on the disabled list. … Catcher J.P. Arencibia was named the 51s’ Most Valuable Player and also received the Mayor’s Trophy, voted by the fans. Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson was named Las Vegas’ Most Valuable Pitcher, and outfielder Aaron Mathews received the Community Service Award.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354.

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