Jays start to jell

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Another day, another dominating outing by a Blue Jays starting pitcher.

After Jays starters put together four consecutive games allowing one run or less, starter Jesse Litsch allowed two solo homers yesterday.

Toronto's hitters finally did their part, too, helping the last-place Jays to a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox before 27,778 fans at the Rogers Centre.

Litsch allowed a homer to Jermaine Dye, ending a string of 24 consecutive scoreless innings for Jays' pitchers, in the seventh with the Jays up 5-0. Carlos Quentin went deep in the eighth.

Other than that, it was a superb effort from the fifth man in Toronto's rotation.

"Starters are feeding off each other," said Litsch, who picked up his team-leading fourth win while lowering his ERA to 4.32.

The Jays are two days removed from a 2-7 road trip. Two games into this series, they have already equalled their win total from that trip.

It's amazing what happens when both cylinders -- okay, maybe 1 1/2 -- are firing. The Jays have scored seven runs against the Sox, but only two of them were earned.

"Part of being a good team is taking advantage of mistakes, like Friday," said Vernon Wells, who drove in three yesterday.

After a Sox throwing error in Friday's opener, Wells hit a ground-rule double and Shannon Stewart lined a two-run single to centre for the only runs of the game.

And yesterday, well, you've heard about infielders trying to throw the ball before they catch it?

Sox third baseman Joe Crede tried to kick the third-base bag for a force before fielding Aaron Hill's nubber with two out and the bases loaded.

Rod Barajas scored and Wells popped into foul ground, barely out of Paul Konerko's reach. Wells followed with a two-run single to centre to give the Jays a 5-0 lead.

STREAK ENDS

"I've had bad swings and good swings. Sometimes you get hits on bad swings," Wells said. "Basically, I'm trying to hit the ball. I've been inconsistent.

"Once it was 5-0, Jesse did a good job throwing strikes."

Litsch was as impressive as other members of the rotation have been lately. He began by retiring 12 Sox in order before Konerko's single slithered under a diving Hill at second.

Litsch allowed five hits and didn't walk a batter.

He also ran the staff's scoreless innings streak to 24 innings, four shy of the club record set in 1985.

The Jays did give the home crowd a bit of a late scare.

With one out in the top of the ninth and B.J. Ryan on the mound, the Sox had a man on when right fielder Alex Rios tracked down a Jermaine Dye drive to the gap for the second out. Ryan then struck out A.J. Pierzynski, prompting a chorus of cheers from the Jays' bench.

In their previous six starts, Jays starters have allowed seven runs in 44 innings for an ERA of 1.43.

"People are going to have to watch out for us now," Litsch said.

"We're coming together. We're going to make a statement."

It might not be one opposing hitters want to hear.


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