Lind ends slump with slam, Jays rout Angels 11-2
TORONTO – Adam Lind had been waiting and waiting for his 100th career homer. When the milestone finally arrived, it was a memorable moment.
Lind hit a grand slam, Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Teahen also went deep, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Los Angeles Angels 11-2 on Saturday.
Lind had been stuck on 99 homers since July 26, going 14 games between blasts. Mired in an 8-for-58 (.138) slump, he broke out of it with his third career slam.
"The way I'd been feeling I honestly thought it would never happen," Lind said. "I just got a pitch, was aggressive with it, and hit a granny."
Lind added a sacrifice fly as the Blue Jays beat up on Angels ace Jered Weaver, but it was Lind's improved swing that meant the most to Toronto manager John Farrell.
"He fouled a couple of pitches straight back," Farrell said. "He wasn't lunging. We had been talking the last few days that you could see it starting to get back to his sound base and his good swing path that he's capable of generating. That was the case today."
All three Blue Jays homers came off Weaver, who allowed eight runs and eight hits, both season highs, in 4 2-3 innings — his shortest outing of the year.
"It took 20-some odd starts for it to happen but it's going to happen," Weaver said. "You can't hang your head. Just get out there and battle the next time."
The right-hander, who had won eight of nine decisions, saw his AL-leading ERA rise from 1.78 to 2.13.
"He's been lights out all year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This is one where it just wasn't there for him. He'll be ready for his next start."
Weaver (14-6) was pitching for the first time since Aug. 5 after serving a six-game suspension for throwing over the head of Detroit's Alex Avila in a loss on July 31. The Angels ace originally appealed the suspension, but decided last Saturday to serve his punishment in full. Still, he acknowledged feeling "rusty" after an seven-day layoff.
"Just kind of flat," he said. "Nothing was very sharp. I usually have a pitch I can go to to get me out of situations and I didn't really have that today."
Riding a streak of 15 consecutive quality starts, Weaver was in trouble from the get-go against Toronto, surrendering a two-run shot to Encarnacion in the first, the 10th homer of the season for the Blue Jays infielder.
Toronto added one more in the second on back-to-back doubles by Rajai Davis and John McDonald, then blew it open with a five-run fifth.
Yunel Escobar hit a one-out double before walks to Eric Thames and Encarnacion loaded the bases for Lind, who drove Weaver's first pitch over the wall in right for his 20th homer.
"You make a mistake to a guy like that and he's going to put it where he wants to, and he did," Weaver said.
One out later, Teahen chased Weaver with a solo drive to right, his fourth.
The beneficiary of Toronto's offensive outburst was Ricky Romero, who won his fourth straight start for the second time in his career. The left-hander allowed one run and two hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Romero (11-9), who also won four straight in his 2009 rookie season, has an ERA of 1.15 over his past four outings and has allowed just 11 hits in 31 1-3 innings.
"Just being consistent, throwing strikes, getting quick outs and getting deep into games," Romero said. "There's really no other formula. I'm kind of just going out there and competing. The key for me every time I go deep into games is strike one. That's big with me, and when I do that I feel like I'm in control."
The Angels' lone run against Romero came on a leadoff homer by Alberto Callaspo in the fifth.
"He's got the kind of stuff that he deserves to be an ace on any staff," former teammate Vernon Wells said of Romero.
The Blue Jays piled on with three more in the sixth against reliever Joel Pineiro. McDonald singled and went to third when shortstop Andrew Romine made a throwing error on a potential double-play grounder. Thames walked to load the bases for Encarnacion, who drove in a run with a sharp infield single to third. Lind followed with a sacrifice fly, and J.P. Arencibia capped it with an RBI single.
Trever Miller worked a scoreless eighth, and Luis Perez gave up a sacrifice fly to Mark Trumbo in the ninth.
NOTES: The eight earned runs against Weaver matched his career high. ... Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games. ... Toronto OF Jose Bautista, OF Colby Rasmus and 2B Aaron Hill were all held out of the starting lineup. ... OF Bobby Abreu and SS Erick Aybar didn't start for the Angels. ... Blue Jays LHP Brett Cecil (4-5) will face Angels RHP Dan Haren (12-6) in Sunday's series finale.