Lind's bat explodes in win over Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Corey Patterson celebrate after they all scored on...

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Corey Patterson celebrate after they all scored on Lind's three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:59 PM ET

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Just a few miles south of the Dallas area, Texans were running for their storm cellars again Tuesday as another round of tornado warnings kept the whole state on edge.

Meanwhile, at Rangers Stadium, not a drop of rain fell for the second day in a row and the only thunder was the sound of the Blue Jay bats drumming on the Rangers for the second night in a row.

The Jays scored five runs off Texas starter Matt Harrison before Jesse Litsch even took the mound for Toronto on their way to a 10-3 victory. Toronto won the opener of this four-game series 6-4 on Monday.

Adam Lind, who came into the game with eight hits -- just one of them for extra bases -- in his last 50 at-bats, pounded out two home runs and a single, driving in five runs. It was the third time in his career that Lind has had a multi-homer game in this park. The Jays scored five in the first off Harrison, added two in the third and three more in the fourth inning off reliever Brett Tomko.

"It was good to see us get some good swings against Harrison right from the start," said manager John Farrell.

Litsch, making his first start since being demoted to Las Vegas last week, worked six gritty innings against the hard-hitting Rangers, allowing seven hits, a pair of walks and three runs. He stranded six runners.

Lind's awakening was good news for Jose Bautista, who scored two runs after the Rangers continued to pitch around him. If Lind can start lighting it up as he did two years ago, teams won't be able to pitch around Bautista, whose on-base percentage is now .522.

"It's good to see him have that kind of production because so many teams are now pitching around Bautista on a pretty regular basis," said Farrell. "The fact that he poses a threat hitting behind Jose is a huge boost for our club."

Lind is acutely aware of his role as protection for Bautista and has not been happy with the job he's done to date.

"I've always felt pressure my whole career, hitting in front of guys like Frank Thomas, Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus and I haven't really done it very well," said Lind.

"Jose's been walking a lot and you can tell that people don't want to pitch to him and I really want to prove to them that they do have to pitch to him."

Lind has now hit nine home runs in his last 12 games at this ballpark.

Less Is More

One of the key transitions for Kyle Drabek in jumping from double A to the big leagues is to embrace the concept of "less is more."

Like so many before him, Drabek has discovered the beauty of the changeup.

"So many times, young pitchers have it engrained in their minds that they want to throw hard, for a host of reasons," said Jays' manager John Farrell. "It gets you recognition as an amateur, it's what people hang their hat on as you come through the minor leagues, then they ask you to throw a pitch that is slower.

"There is a mental hurdle that a pitcher has to get over to throw a pitch slower and know that it is going to have a positive effect."

In Monday's win, Drabek used his change effectively, especially against dangerous hitter David Murphy.

"In spring training, it became a pitch for me," said Drabek. "It's come a long, long way and I'm very happy with the coaches and staff helping me get it where it is now.

"It's still sometimes scary to throw it. You don't want to leave it up because dangerous things can happen. But I do like throwing it."

"I think he threw five of them to Murphy," said Farrell. "He got a strikeout in the first at-bat then a ground-ball double-play after Murphy made a pretty good adjustment to him. The previous pitch was a changeup that (Murphy) fouled straight back. I turned to Bruce Walton (pitching coach) and said 'Murphy got a pretty good look at that, we'd better be careful and not over-expose it' and then he throws it again the next pitch: groundball double-play. It shows that not only does Jose (Molina) have confidence to call it but that Kyle has no hesitation in throwing it.

"When you throw in the mid-90s and you have the ability to slow some bats down with a pitch that's roughly 12 m.p.h. off of that, it really creates a lot of separation."

Not Brett's Best

Brett Cecil went to Las Vegas to work out his problems. Last night he made his first start for the 51s. His line: 4 1/3 innings, 13 hits, 11 runs, 10 earned, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts. Yikes!


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