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Whack! Bam! Pow!

Whack! Bam! Pow!
It wasn't just the season-high 14 runs and 21 hits, or the way the lineup kept turning over like slots in a casino. Hitting? Meh - they've done that all season long.

No, what stood out about the Toronto Blue Jays thumping of the Chicago White Sox last night was the complete lack of drama provided by Blue Jays starting pitcher Brian Tallet. As everybody's been telling you: this is a team in the middle of a pitching crisis, the latest manifestation being the disabling of Ricky Romero and B.J. Ryan. Nice crisis.

Tallet (1-0) turned in a routine outing last night, giving up four hits in 52/3 innings as the Blue Jays shut out the White Sox 14-0 in the first game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Blue Jays will run out Brian Burres in tonight's second game of the series. They also brought up Bryan Bullington for the bullpen, because of B.J. Ryan's trapezoid injury. Bullington pitched the ninth after 21/3 innings of relief from Bill Murphy. Yet with ace Roy Halladay set to pitch tomorrow, the Blue Jays find themselves in a position to win a sixth consecutive series.

The Blue Jays had a season-high seven doubles. Three of those came off the bat of Adam Lind, one of five Blue Jays with three hits, along with Marco Scutaro, Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells and Travis Snider.

Tallet staggered briefly in the third when he walked Carlos Quentin to load the bases with one out, but then struck out Jim Thome on three 88-mile-an-hour fastballs and induced Jermaine Dye to ground out on five more fastballs, in an at-bat in which Dye was ahead 2-0.

Tallet needed just 10 pitches to get through the fifth inning.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said the early lead allowed Tallet to focus on his fastball.

quot;What can I say,quot; Gaston said. quot;He had great location in the zone. He threw a lot more fastballs then breaking balls or changeups. It's true that you can afford to throw more fastballs when you have a lead, but you still need to throw strikes.quot;

Television cameras showed combustible White Sox's manager Ozzie Guillen fairly seething in the dugout throughout the night and who could blame him?

Starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (2-2) walked five (one intentional) in addition to allowing nine hits. He also uncorked a pair of wild pitches and twice fell asleep with runners on third base, allowing Wells and Alex Rios to steal third uncontested.

White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez also felt the wrath of the fans. His first-inning error, on a ball off the bat of Hill, allowed Scutaro to advance to third. Scutaro and Hill both came in on Wells's double, and the tone was set. The ball found Ramirez all night, and he failed to make two borderline plays that, while not routine, should have been converted.

The Blue Jays went into the game as the only major-league team to have 11 players with at least one home run. But in front of 27,103 on a night when miniature dirt devils were created in the infield by swirling winds, the Blue Jays raced out to a 12-0 lead on 16 hits - not one of them a homer.

Hill drove in three runs, Rod Barajas was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Jose Bautista finally provided the requisite homer to lead off the ninth, lining a ball into the White Sox's bullpen.

The game was so in control by that point that Gaston put John McDonald in the game at shortstop ... in the bottom of the sixth inning. McDonald replaced Scutaro, who went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.

Toronto has won seven of its past nine games.

quot;This team is playing hard,quot; Gaston said.

Notes: Ryan has gone to Arlington, Tex., to see Dr. Keith Meister about his injury.


NOTES Chicago White Sox left-fielder Carlos Quentin was in the lineup last night, after a magnetic resonance imaging test on his left hand proved negative. Quentin was hit on the hand in the eighth inning last Thursday. ... The White Sox do not print out game notes for the media, to support Major League Baseball's green initiative. ... Tomorrow's White Sox starter, Jose Contreras, is on the verge of losing his spot in the rotation. He faces a tall order: Roy Halladay will be on the hill for the Toronto Blue Jays . ... Today's White Sox starter, Mark Buehrle, has gone 3-0 with a 2.61 earned-run average in seven games at U.S. Cellular Field against the Jays . ... Jays centre fielder Vernon Wells owns Buehrle, going 17-for-32 (.531) against him. ... Brian Burres, who joined the Blue Jays along with Bryan Bullington in time for last night's game, pitched eight shutout innings at U.S. Cellular last year for the Baltimore Orioles on April 26, in a 3-1 O's win.

Next Today, at Chicago White Sox, 8:11 p.m. EDT

Probables Blue Jays LHP Brian Burres (season debut) v. White Sox LHP Mark Buehrle (2-0, 3.00).

TV Rogers Sportsnet

Jeff Blair

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 25, 2009

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