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Jays hottest team in the majors


Jays hottest team in the majors
Saturday night White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez blasted the grand slam that buried the Blue Jays in a 10-2 loss.

Yesterday he stepped to the plate with two out in the ninth and his team trailing by one.

Facing Jays' lefty Scott Downs with a runner on, Ramirez lifted another fly ball to left field. But this one was no game breaker. Instead, it fluttered downward and landed in Travis Snider's mitt, as the Jays clinched the deciding win in this three-game series, and sealing another milestone victory for the American League leaders.

By rebounding from Saturday's blowout with a 4-3 win yesterday, the Jays remain the only team in the majors that has yet to lose two consecutive games. In taking two of three weekend games from the White Sox, these Jays became the first team in franchise history to win six series of three games or more to open a season.

They are 14-6, while St. Louis and the Los Angeles Dodgers are 13-6 after both losing yesterday.

While the early momentum has contradicted observers who thought this season would be just a 162-game prelude to 2010, Aaron Hill says none of the Jays finds the success surprising.

quot;We've always had a great team, it's just the last couple of years we haven't put the hitting and pitching together at one time,quot; Hill said. quot;Everything just seems to be working right now.quot;

Roy Halladay is grateful for the club's resurgent offence. He's never received much run support at U.S. Cellular Field, going winless in five career starts despite a 3.82 ERA at the park. And even though they didn't match Friday's 14-run fireworks display, the Jays provided just enough offence to support their top starter.

quot;It comes down to scoring runs when you have to,quot; said Halladay, who earned his fourth win of the season. quot;There were games last year when we'd give up just enough to lose and could never make it up. That's the difference. When the pressure's on, when we need that run or two we've been able to get it.quot;

Yesterday, centre fielder Vernon Wells responded in a pressure situation, batting in the eighth inning of a 3-3 tie and stroking a double off reliever Scott Linebrink. He scored the game winner on Scott Rolen's single.

Yesterday, Halladay gave up eight hits and three runs over seven innings. He said a month into the season he's still gaining command over certain pitches.

quot;When I've missed, I've missed up (in the strike zone). I'd rather miss down, than miss up,quot; he said. quot;It's something you work on in the bullpen (sessions) and it's got to be a constant focus .... I just have to work on working down with everything.quot;


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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