Lind back with a bang

Adam Lind launches one of his two home runs against the Orioles in Baltimore yesterday. It was just...

Adam Lind launches one of his two home runs against the Orioles in Baltimore yesterday. It was just Lind's second game back after a stint on the DL. (Reuters)

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:03 PM ET

BALTIMORE — Well, that didn’t take long.

It turned out that one game was all that Adam Lind needed to find his stroke.

Out of the Blue Jays lineup since forced to come out of a May 7 game because of lower back pain, Lind returned from his first stint on the disabled list on Saturday and was 0-for-3 with a walk. His outs were two ground balls to second and a strikeout.

Before the back issues surfaced, Lind was a hitting machine, hitting safely in 15 of 17 games going .388 (26-for-67) with six homers and 18 RBIs. The question upon his return was how long would it take for him to get back into a groove?

That question was answered Sunday as Lind went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, including solo home runs in each of the fifth and seventh, in helping the Blue Jays to a 7-4 victory and a 2-1 series win over the birds of Baltimore.

Leadoff hitter Yunel Escobar was no slouch either as he snapped a 2-2 tie in the fourth with a three-run shot to left for his seventh home run of the campaign, which is three more homers than he hit all of last year.

The two homers upped Lind’s total to nine while the three RBIs increased his total to 30.

So, is it really as easy as riding a bike?

“No, I’ll say my confidence was up,” he replied. “I just felt good, I felt good yesterday. It’s definitely not as easy as riding a bike but I guess it’s my job.”

Players who were hot before being injured can often press a bit upon returning and then get into a funk. Lind erased all of that by hitting the ball on the nose all four at-bats.

“One of the good things was that I did play for a month (before getting hurt) so it wasn’t like I hadn’t played all season,” he said. “It was just nice to feel good all game. I felt good today and I didn’t miss my pitches — pretty basic.”

Count manager John Farrell among the impressed observers.

“When you look at today’s game, it doesn’t look like he’s missed any time,” Farrell said. “What a beautiful swing. We have the luxury of sitting down on ground level and the bat path through the strike zone is really a thing of beauty to see. He was on every pitch today.”

It’s pretty rare to see a player miss a month and then have such a perfect day his second game back.

“It’s not common,” Farrell said. “It goes to show you we lost a very, very productive hitter when he went down.”

Overall, the Jays banged out 11 hits and over the past week, have been racking up both the hit and run totals. If Lind keeps it up and Jose Bautista gets back into one of his grooves, the Jays could make some noise.

“That’s something that I definitely learned when I was in Florida, how good this team is” Lind said. “The sky’s the limit, I think. When we start swinging the bats the way we’re capable of, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

The Jays road trip continues Monday with four games in Kansas City.

STREAKING ALONG

Six days ago, Jo-Jo Reyes was the big news of the day when he pitched a complete-game victory against Cleveland to snap a streak of going 28 consecutive starts without a win, a streak that dated back to June of 2008.

He followed that up by going 6 1/3 innings for the win Sunday marking the first time that he has ever won consecutive starts in a normal turn of a rotation. He did win his final start of his 2007 season and the first start of 2008.

So, Reyes is now on a streak of wins — two. How long does he think he can keep it going?

“Hopefully, 28 starts,” he replied, eliciting a round of laughter from reporters.

Farrell believes that Reyes’ improved performances are the result of him developing a cut fastball that he can throw in on the hands of right-handed hitters. Reyes agreed.

“I think I started after the Boston series (April 15-18) but I feel comfortable with it now and feel I can throw it when I want to,” he said. “It’s big because I can throw a four-seamer in and they see a different look once they see the cutter.”

Still, two wins in a row — he is 2-4 on the season — must be gratifying given all he’s been through.

“It felt good today and as long as I keep up the quality starts, they’re going to come,” he said.

It’s not like he isn’t due.


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