Lind homers twice as Jays beat Rangers
Adam Lind has to love hitting in Texas. And the Toronto Blue Jays like what their cleanup hitter is starting to do behind Jose Bautista.
Lind homered twice and drove in five runs for the Blue Jays, who got off to a fast start on the way to a 10-3 victory over the AL West-leading Rangers on Tuesday night.
Both of the first baseman's homers came after a five-run first when he had an RBI single. His fifth career multihomer game was his third at Rangers Ballpark, where he has nine homers his last 12 games.
"It's coincidence, I don't know," Lind insisted. "I remember my first two years, I didn't do anything here."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell was a little bit more excited about what Lind accomplished for a team that had been struggling for runs with teams trying to avoid Bautista, the American League leader with a .362 batting average and 23 walks.
"It was good to see some guys put some good swings right from the get-go, and history certainly speaks to what Adam Lind can do at this ballpark," Farrell said. "It's just very encouraging to see him with that kind of production as so many teams are now pitching around Jose on a regular basis."
After Toronto's five-run first off Matt Harrison (3-2), Lind homered leading off the third and then hit a three-run homer the next inning. He had only one homer his first 21 games this season.
Toronto got singles on each of the first two pitches of the game, a liner to right by Yunel Escobar and a bunt by Corey Patterson.
Bautista then walked before Lind singled to right on the next pitch. There were two bases-loaded walks before the Rangers finally got outs when Travis Snider grounded into a double play that sent another runner home. John McDonald's RBI single made it 5-0.
"We came out right away today and manufactured a big inning without the use of the long ball," Farrell said.
Brett Tomko took over for Harrison to start the fourth. Patterson doubled and Bautista threw another walk before Lind hit a towering 418-foot shot to right.
"The second one was his first pitch, just swung," Lind said. "The first one I hit it on the sweet spot."
Lind has nine homers his past 12 games in Texas. He had a pair of two-homer games there during the 2009 season, including a career-high eight RBIs that Aug. 31 in an 18-10 Blue Jays' victory.
"In the Tampa series, it was becoming more and more apparent that they weren't going to give (Bautista) much to hit, and the fact that (Lind) poses a threat sitting behind Jose is a huge boost for our offence," Farrell said.
Jesse Litsch (2-1), recalled from triple-A Las Vegas to make the start, held Texas to three runs and seven hits over six innings. The big right-hander struck out one and walked two.
Harrison, the left-hander who has lost consecutive starts since a 3-0 start, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks and one strikeout. Tomko, in only his second major league appearance since 2009, struck out five in five innings.
"It was a night I want to forget," Harrison said. "They came out swinging the bat, then I kind of got out of my game, walked a few guys and made it worse than it should have been."
After Lind's homer leading off the third gave them a 6-3 lead, the Blue Jays had three consecutive singles. Snider's hit drove in another run.
Texas got all of its runs in the second after consecutive hits by the bottom four batters in the order. After David Murphy's two-out double, Yorvit Torrealba had an RBI single, Chris Davis doubled and Julio Borbon hit a two-run single.
The Blue Jays had multiple runs in three of the first four innings, after a two-game stretch when they had managed to score in only one inning. They were shut out Sunday against Tampa Bay before winning 6-4 in the series opener at Texas when they hit three home runs while scoring all their runs in the same inning.
The only other time Toronto scored in double digits this season was in a 13-3 win opening day.
Right-handed reliever Frank Francisco, traded from Texas to Toronto in January, pitched a scoreless eighth with a walk in his first appearance against the Rangers.