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Jays rain on Tribe's parade


Jays rain on Tribe's parade
Opening Day in Cleveland was almost a washout as a light mist at game time grew into a pesty downpour that forced a record rain delay of the Blue Jays -Indians tilt at Progressive Field.

But rain couldn't dampen some early-season hitting fireworks from Jays designated hitter Adam Lind.

This marathon of a game resumed after a three hour and 47 minute rain delay with the Jays up 4-3 with one out in the top of the fifth inning.

The delay topped the Jays previous record delay of 3: 34, set April 2, 1987 against Cleveland at the former Exhibition Stadium.

When the game resumed - at 9: 27 p.m. - Toronto rode a six-run eighth inning to a 13-7 win.

With the delay, this game took seven hours and 12 minutes to play.

Some 42,473 were on hand for the opening pitch, but only a few hundred were left when the Jays' eighth-inning rally ended after 11 p.m.

Lind had a two-run double in that eighth to finish the long, rain-soaked day out with three hits (including a home run) and four RBIs. The 25-year-old now has three homers and 11 RBIs.

The Jays had been down 3-0 to the Indians and rookie lefty Scott Lewis after three innings, but a two-run homer from Lind in the fourth sparked a turnaround for Toronto.

Lind also hit a double off the wall in deep left-centre field in the sixth inning and came around to score the Jays' fifth run.

Jays lefty reliever Brian Tallet gave up a solo homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth, then a two-run homer to Victor Martinez in the seventh. Brandon League, the third reliever of the inning, walked two batters to load the bases, then hit Ben Francisco with a pitch to force home the game-tying run at 7-7.

Having blown two leads, the Jays built another in the eighth after Scott Rolen led off with a single, his third hit of the game.

With the bases loaded, Marco Scutaro turned on an inside pitch, and blooped it down the right-field line to score two runs. Alex Rios doubled solidly into the left-field corner to bring home the other two base runners for a 11-7 lead.

Travis Hafner had a two-run homer for the Indians as the two teams put up 20 runs on 24 hits, 17 by the Jays .

Lewis, meanwhile, had been looking to become the first pitcher to win his first five starts with the Indians in over 88 years. Lewis bettered the Baltimore Orioles in his first major league start - Sept. 10, 2008 - and went on to win his next three outings.

The last Cleveland pitcher to win his first five career starts with Cleveland was in September 1920 when Duster Mails went 7-0.

Lewis opened the game looking like he was on his way to a fifth consecutive win. He retired the first six batters he faced, throwing first-pitch strikes to five of them and spotting his curve seemingly at will.

The Jays managed to turn this game around as the rains grew heavy. Lewis began losing command and falling behind hitters. When the Jays came up for a second time against him, the game turned around in a hurry.

Lind, with Vernon Wells aboard on a single, shocked the crowd in the fourth with a wonderful piece of hitting. He took a decent breaking pitch to the opposite field in left for his third homer of the season to cut the lead to 3-2.

Lewis got the pitch low enough, but left it out over the edge of the plate.

Rolen followed the homer with a double and came around with the game-tying run two batters later when Kevin Millar doubled into the right-field corner.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 11, 2009

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