Gonzalez hits 2 homers in Jays win
Alex Gonzalez, better known for his fielding as a shortstop, has been pressing Vernon Wells for the Toronto Blue Jays lead in home runs.
Gonzalez hit two Friday night and drove in four runs and Wells hit his 200th career homer as the Blue Jays defeated the Oakland Athletics 10-2 as both teams ended April with 12-12 records.
"He tells me to look out because he's right behind me," Wells said of Gonzalez.
"That's what I told him in the dugout," Gonzalez said. "I'm coming behind you, watch out."
Brandon Morrow (2-2) got the win before a crowd of 12,722 at Rogers Centre by striking out nine while allowing seven hits and two runs in six innings.
The Blue Jays have won two in a row after going on a five-game losing streak.
The home runs by Gonzalez gave him seven in April, a club record for the month by a shortstop, surpassing Marco Scutaro who hit five last April and is now with the Boston Red Sox.
"It's been fun to watch," Wells said. "He's about as professional as a professional can get. He's always working and always trying to get better. With all the time he has in the game, he still wants to get better."
Trevor Cahill (0-1), who was called up from triple-A for the start, took the loss, allowing eight runs (six earned) on seven hits, including three home runs, over five innings.
Big bats booming
Wells finished April with eight homers to lead the Blue Jays, who top the majors in homers with 35.
Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the second inning and led off the sixth with the homer that chased Cahill.
"The first one, I got a great pitch to hit, a fastball," Gonzalez said. "The second one was a back-door slider. The second one I didn't think it was going when I swung. It was real nice hitting two homers."
He said he has never had a month hitting like this. "No, right now I feel great at home plate," he said. "I'm swinging at good pitches, I put on good swings and hope I keep doing well."
Wells hit a two-run homer in the fifth. John Buck, who became the first catcher in six years to have a three-homer game Thursday, hit a two-run single in the fourth and Aaron Hill hit a two-run double against Chad Gaudin in the sixth.
"Buck doing what he did [Thursday] kind of ignited some things," Wells said. "Hitting's contagious and hopefully we'll swing the bats well, get our pitches and not miss them.
"It will be difficult to keep this pace up. We're going to have to start scoring some runs in different ways. We did that tonight with Buck coming up with the big hit and driving in two, and those are the things we have to keep trying to do and get better at it."
2 behind Bell
Manager Cito Gaston presented Wells with the ball that was hit into the seats for home run No. 200, which leaves the slugger two behind George Bell for third place in franchise history.
"It took a while." Wells said, grinning.
He also moved past Bell into second place in club history with 741 RBIs. Carlos Delgado had 1,058 as a Blue Jay.
Wells said it's not something he is thinking about.
"Right now, you're in the moment you want to drive in as many runs as possible." he said. "I've been around for a long time and have had a lot of opportunities. So it's going to come if I'm able to stay healthy and be successful and that's the goal right now."
Morrow has been another bright spot, showing improvement since pitching coach Bruce Walton lowered the arm slot on his delivery.
"I just see him getting a little better," Gaston said. "Bruce has dropped his arm slot a little bit and he's been a better pitcher."