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Jays keep on winning

Jays keep on winning
Scott Richmond pitched six strong innings and Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Alex Rios each hit home runs as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2 last night.

The Blue Jays won the series 2-1 and have won five series to open the season, something they have never done before.

Rios's home run with a runner on in the fifth was his first of the season and proved decisive.

Richmond, a native of North Vancouver, B.C., gave a solid performance before a crowd of 15,487 at the Rogers Centre on a day when the Blue Jays needed some good news about their pitching.

Earlier yesterday the team had put left-handed pitchers Ricky Romero and B.J. Ryan on the 15-day disabled list.

Romero, a rookie starter who has impressed early on, has a strained muscle on his right side, while Ryan, the team's struggling closer, has a tight trapezius muscle.

Richmond (2-0) held the Rangers to two runs on six hits. He gave up two home runs, while striking out a career-high eight in six innings.

Brandon League took over in the seventh, while Jesse Carlson and Shawn Camp pitched the eighth.

Scott Downs, who manager Cito Gaston said before the game was not available to pitch in the finale against Texas, pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

Rangers starter Kevin Millwood (1-2) gave up just five hits over seven innings, but three home runs proved costly.

The Blue Jays hit more than one home run in an inning just six times last season. Toronto tied that mark by the second inning when Wells and Overbay went deep for solo shots.

In each case it was their third home run of the season, with Wells leading off the inning by hitting the first-pitch fastball over the fence in left-centre to end a 0-for-14 drought.

It was his 180th career home run with Toronto, moving him past Jesse Barfield (179) and into fourth place all-time.

Wells now trails Carlos Delgado (336), Joe Carter (203) and George Bell (202) Joe Carter (203).

Overbay hit took 3-2 fastball over the centre-field fence with two out to give himself a six-game hitting string.

Josh Hamilton cut the Blue Jays lead to 2-1 with one out in the fourth when he hit a 2-1 fastball to left for his second home run of the season.

The Blue Jays took a 4-1 lead in the fifth when Rios's first homer of the season followed Aaron Hill's two-out double.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 24, 2009

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