Lind's homer leads Jays to victory

Lind's homer leads Jays to victory

Lind's homer leads Jays to victory
TORONTO -- The mood was somber in the clubhouse following Monday's crushing defeat to the Royals -- quiet, heads down and no smiles could be found.

That wasn't the case on Tuesday.

Brett Cecil turned in a quality start, while the offense batted around and pounded out eight hits in a six-run fourth inning that powered the Blue Jays past the Royals, 6-3, at Rogers Centre.

"Brett with a solid effort for us tonight," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "With the exception of the third inning, it felt like he stayed out of the middle of the plate, mixed and matched his stuff well. Once again, I felt like he and [catcher] Jeff [Mathis] did an excellent job working together.

"Just a clean game all the way around."

After retiring the first six batters of the game, Cecil fell behind in the third, as the Royals sent six men to the plate as part of a three-run inning, highlighted by a two-run triple by Jason Bourgeios.

Cecil kept the Royals off the board after that. The crafty left-hander retired nine straight after allowing the first two batters of the fourth to reach base. He was removed for Jason Frasor after allowing a leadoff double to Mike Moustakas in the seventh, but earned the victory to improve to 2-1.

It was Cecil's fourth start of the year, and a bounceback from his previous outing, in which he surrendered a season-high eight runs to suffer his first loss. Cecil allowed three runs on five hits Tuesday, while walking one and striking out three.

"He made an adjustment and was able to use all of his pitches the last few innings," said Mathis, who has started all four of Cecil's starts.

Prior to the game, Mathis spoke about how advantageous it is to work exclusively with a pitcher, and Cecil seems to have no complaints about the pairing.

"We're pretty good," Cecil said. "He knows where I like him to set up with certain pitches. Things are going well."

The Blue Jays provided Cecil with the support he needed in the fourth.

Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus started off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Edwin Encarnacion later drove in Lawrie with an infield single to cut the lead to 3-1.

Yunel Escobar had an infield single of his own before Rajai Davis' two-run single to right field brought home Rasmus and Encarnacion to tie the game at 3-3.

The Blue Jays weren't done there.

The next batter, Adam Lind, drove a 1-1 offering from starter Vin Mazarro off the facing of the second deck in right for a three-run homer -- his sixth of the year and third in his first 22 at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas -- to put Toronto ahead, 6-3.

"It looks a little slower," Lind said of what the baseball looks like to him since coming back to Toronto. "That was one of the reasons why I went down there, was to try and slow the ball down."

Farrell suggested that Lind, who was batting eighth in Tuesday's contest and hasn't returned to the middle of the order since being recalled, may move up in the lineup as early as Wednesday.

"He's relaxed at the plate," Farrell said of Lind, who went 2-for-4. "He has improved bat speed since he went down to Las Vegas. ... I think just overall he has freed up mentally and that has allowed him to relax and take some of the tension out of his body overall. With that relaxation comes bat speed, and that has been the case."

Mazarro surrendered a career-high 13 hits and was charged with all six runs. He dropped to 3-3 on the season and watched his ERA inflate nearly a full run to 5.70.

"It just kind of built up on him and culminated with the home run by Adam Lind," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Mazzaro, who was optioned to Triple-A Omaha following the game. "He was throwing the ball fine to that point."

It was a collective effort for the Blue Jays, as every player recorded at least one hit and they received three scoreless innings of relief from Frasor, Darren Oliver and closer Casey Janssen.

And they played well defensively -- something Farrell pointed out.

Lawrie made some fine defensive plays at third base, and Jose Bautista showed once again why he has one of the strongest arms in the game.

Bautista threw a rocket to gun down Moustakas attempting to score on a fly ball by Salvador Perez in the seventh. The ball was high, which forced Mathis to jump for it. When he landed, Mathis was unable to apply a tag, but Moustakas never touched the plate.

The two ended up almost hugging each other on their knees before Mathis finally tagged him out, which gave Bautista his Major League-leading 11th outfield assist of the season.

"He was going to try to jump over me, I just made sure I tagged him," Mathis said laughing.

Janssen picked up the save and is 10-for-10 in save opportunities since assuming the closer's role. He has allowed just three base runners over 9 2/3 innings during those 10 saves.

The Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak and moved a game over .500 at 41-40.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.