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Long wait proves worthwhile for Jays


Long wait proves worthwhile for Jays
When a team has to endure almost four hours to complete a rain-delayed Baseball game, a victory makes the wait worthwhile.

The Toronto Blue Jays certainly had that satisfied sentiment after hanging around for a club-record three-hour 47-minute rain delay to eventually beat Cleveland 13-7 in the Indians' home opener.

The lengthy, strange game began in the late afternoon before an announced crowd of 42,473 and concluded more than seven hours later at 11:20 p.m. before a hundred or so diehard fans at Progressive Field.

Those who hung in for the duration saw 10 pitchers give up a combined 24 hits and five home runs - three by the Indians - a balk from Cleveland pitcher Rafael Perez, a hit batsman by Toronto hurler Brandon League and Jays infielder Kevin Millar fall down on his way to first base as he legged out a grounder, only to be called safe on a throwing error.

League was credited with the win, even though he struggled through one-third of an inning and also yielded a walk to go with his hit batsman.

There likely wasn't this much weird stuff when the Jays completed their previous longest rain-delay of 3:34 back on Aug. 2, 1987, at Exhibition Stadium in a game that also was against the Indians.

The Jays , who improved to 4-1 with yesterday's win, pounded out 17 hits. Designated hitter Adam Lind continued to have a hot bat. He went 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and four runs batted in. He now has 11 RBIs, three homers and 10 hits in his first five games of the season.

"I thought I would have been asleep by now. But we battled through the conditions," Lind said.

Commenting on Lind, coach Cito Gaston said: "This kid is going to be a good player. He listens and learns."

And just how strange was the game?

"When your around this game long enough you see everything, but I don't think I've ever seen a runner fall down and be safe," Gaston said referring to Millar's improbable adventure at first base.

Scott Richmond's day ended with the rain delay. The North Vancouver right-hander was the first Canadian to make the Jays' starting rotation at the beginning of the season since Paul Quantrill in 1996 and only the third Canadian in Toronto history. Denis Boucher was the first in 1991.

The 29-year-old Richmond surrendered three runs and five hits in his 74-pitch four innings. He gave up a third-inning home run to Cleveland designated hitter Travis Hafner, who also slammed a first-inning double to score two runs.

The Jays erased the three-run disadvantage in the fourth inning with Lind's two-run homer, and Millar knocked in Scott Rolen, who doubled after Lind's homer. Millar, however, was thrown out when he tried to stretch his hit to right field into a double.

Lind also smacked a double in the sixth inning.

A home run from Toronto shortstop Marco Scutaro, just before the rain delay, gave the Jays the lead for good in the fifth inning.

The Jays added to their lead in the seventh with a two-run single from Alex Rios that squeezed past Cleveland shortstop Jhonny Peralta. But the Indians tied the game in the bottom of the inning.

Indians catcher Victor Martinez slammed a two-run shot off Toronto reliever Brian Tallet, who struck out five of the 12 batters he faced but also allowed a sixth-inning home run to right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.

The Indians are now 0-4, their worst start since they lost their first five games of the 1985 season.

*****

ON DECK

NOTES First baseman Kevin Millar made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays and knocked out a pair of singles in his first two at-bats ... Cleveland Indians pitcher Scott Lewis was vying to become the first Major League hurler to win his first five starts since Anaheim Angels pitcher Jered Weaver did three years ago, but Lewis was given the hook before the rain delay in the top of the fifth with Toronto ahead 4-3 ... Jays manager Cito Gaston went with catcher Michael Barrett for a second game in a row in order to save Rod Barajas. Gaston preferred to have Barajas catch ace Roy Halladay today and play in the series finale tomorrow ... Nancy Score, the wife of late Indians pitcher Herb Score, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch for the club's 109th season opener. Herb Score passed away at age 75 last Nov. 11.

NEXT Today, at Cleveland Indians, 1:05 p.m. EDT

PROBABLE PITCHERS Jays RHP Roy Halladay (1-0) v. Indians LHP Cliff Lee (0-1)

TV Sportsnet

Tim Wharnsby


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

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