May 18, 2012
Jays bust out the lumber for Mets
By Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Not so tough these guys from Gotham.
Fresh from a two-game spanking of the hated Yankees, the Jays broke out the lumber in the first of three against the New York Mets.
In all the Jays launched five bombs, including two from an expected source in J.P. Arencibia and two that came out of the blue and off the bat of light-hitting Rajai Davis. Rookie Yan Gomes, appearing in his second career game, stroked the other as the Jays routed the New York Mets 14-5.
The multi-homer game was a career first for Davis, who counted just one home run in 95 games for the Jays last season.
Arencibia, meanwhile, has homered in three consecutive games. Along with his two home runs, the Jays catcher came through with a bases-loaded single that drove in two more runs in the sixth giving him a career high of six RBIs on the night.
Arencibia was grateful for the two-homer game but in his mind they were not as sweet as the one hit by Gomes, his former teammate at the University of Tennessee.
“I was freaking out, that’s awesome,” Arencibia said with a wide smile. “It gave me chills to watch. I wanted to cry, I literally wanted to cry. I was more excited about him and his first home run than I can remember in a long time.
“(Gomes) is like a little brother to me. From high school I’ve known him and later in college," he added. "We were talking about it and the last time we homered in the same game was when we played against the University of Florida. It’s just a treat to have him here.”
Right now Arencibia is as locked-in as it gets.
“Lately I’ve been swinging the bat well, for the last month,” he said. “Me and Murph (hitting coach Dwayne Murphy) have been working on trying to get comfortable, to be ready on time and seeing the pitch. I’ve been seeing the ball pretty well and it’s just working for me right now.”
The home runs are one thing, the six RBIs something else altogether.
“That’s huge. I always talk about I’m not worried about my average, I want to drive in runs,” he said. “I’m a guy that drives in runs. Productive numbers, that’s what I’m worried about and obviously to drive in six, to get that lead, that cushion for your pitcher out there is big.”
It was the first interleague game of the season for the teams and the win was just the fifth for the Jays against the Mets in 19 lifetime meetings.
The beneficiary of the Jays power surge was Ricky Romero who moved to 5-1 on the season.
Getting Romero back on the beam, though, was the prime goal of the Jays. They don’t expect five home runs every day but every fifth day they count on a solid outing from Romero.
With five walks in each of his previous two starts, it was obvious what Romero needed to improve upon for his start against the Mets.
Romero, though, struggled with his control at times, walked four, fell behind in the count on many occasions and after six innings had thrown 99 pitches.
Overall, Romero allowed the one run and three hits but knows there is more work to do.
“I’m a work in progress right now but I finished on a good note (a 1-2-3 sixth), that’s all I’m worried about,” he said. “Walks are going to happen. I’m not happy about them and I’ll continue to get better.
“I wish I could have gone deeper in the game. With a comfortable lead like that I should be able to do that.”
Next time out Romero gets the Rays and he’ll have to be sharper than he was against the Mets.
The chances are slim he’ll get five homers and 14 runs of support in that outing.