Rajai Davis stars in Blue Jays upset win

Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis steals a home run from Yankees batter Casey McGehee at the Rogers...

Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis steals a home run from Yankees batter Casey McGehee at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Aug. 12, 2010. (FRED THORNHILL/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:02 PM ET

TORONTO - Mid-morning, hours before game time, the Toronto Blue Jays public relations staff sends out the starting lineup via Twitter.

For those debating whether to come down to the Rogers Centre to take in a game, Sunday’s tweet served more as a warning to stay away.

The lineup penned by manager John Farrell, due to the team's non-stop string of injuries, resulted in the Jays lineup consisting of just one player who was in the starting lineup Opening Day April 5 in Cleveland — Edwin Encarnacion.

Given the sad state of events that have befallen the Jays, the lineup appeared to be a gift-wrapped win for the New York Yankees and a sixth consecutive loss for Toronto.

Baseball, though, can be the goofiest of games. Despite the apparent mismatch of talent, it was the Jays that came out swinging and never stopped. The result was a shocking 10-7 victory for the home side that prevented Toronto from suffering a second consecutive series sweep by the opposition.

In their preceding five losses, the Jays had totalled 10 runs, but here they were banging out 10 runs and 14 hits.

The biggest offensive contributor was Rajai Davis, who drove in five runs thanks to a two-run double in the Jays’ six-run fourth and a three-run double in the fifth.

His finest moment, however, occurred in the seventh when he climbed the wall in left field and, reaching high with his glove, stole a two-run home run from Casey McGehee.

“It’s something I talked about earlier in the year, planting that leg and getting up over the wall,” Davis said. “It takes a perfect ball to be able to time that right.”

The offensive outburst was the perfect tonic for a team that has been scuffling for runs.

“Some of the young guys are gaining more confidence at the plate and starting to swing the bat a little more aggressive and make solid contact,” Davis said. “I think that’s a good sign and we can only progress from there.”

The Yankees came back with three runs in the sixth to drive J.A. Happ, 1-1, from the game and added three more off Brad Lincoln in the seventh to make the 43,924 in attendance sweat.

ANTHOPOULOS ZEROING IN

Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, still pumped over the birth of his son last Wednesday, was in the dugout prior to the game and was waving the organizational flag, talking up a storm about how the team is in great shape moving forward.

Anthopoulos is proud of the job he did in rebuilding the bullpen with his recent moves and believes the offence, once the bodies return, is among the best in the league.

That leaves the rotation as his area of focus in the off-season.

“The rotation is obviously an area where we’re going to have to address,” Anthopoulos said Sunday. “In the past there were multiple areas to address and fix. We have the makings of a championship-calibre team in the bullpen and from an offensive standpoint. Certainly the ingredients are there.

“The rotation is where we still need to do some work. It’s a lot easier going into the off-season when you really have one area to really effect. Every trade dialogue can be geared to one area rather than having 40 balls in the air and having to fill three spots in the bullpen, two spots in the rotation and two position players.

“I feel that, collectively, this is the best core that we’ve had. There’s one area left and it’s and important one but I think it’s easier to handle that when you have one area (to fix) than five.”

Of the current members of his rotation, Anthopoulos lists just Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow as the only pitchers who have locked down spots for the 2013 rotation. The rest, including Henderson Alvarez and J.A. Happ and whoever he can acquire, will be fighting it out for the open three spots.

“From a rotation spot, the only guarantees are those two,” he said. “Everyone else has got to earn their way into the rotation.”

BAUTISTA TO RETURN?

With the season a lost cause, are the Jays thinking about not taking any chances with Jose Bautista and his wrist injury by shutting him down for the rest of the season to make sure that he doesn’t cause further damage?

“I’ve asked that as well and we’re not going to take any type of chance at all,” Anthopoulos said. “I talked with Jose the other day about it. He’s tough and a lot of times you have to protect players from themselves. He assured me he wouldn’t take any chances if he still felt some pain. He’s going to swing again on Monday and he’s going to be completely honest with us.

“We’re going to leave that up to the doctors and the trainers. It’s not our decision to make. If they feel there’s value to that (shutting him down), we would go that route, but from everybody I’ve spoken to, they don’t think it’s going to come to that at all.”


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