Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Bats sizzling in Jays blowout of Twins

- By Jeremy Sandler

Jays 12, Twins 2

MINNEAPOLI­S — Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston likes to divide his team’s season into 10-game segments.

The Toronto Blue Jays skipper has to like where he stands in that regard after a 12-2 win over Minnesota Wednesday night gave his team a 7-3 record through the first 10 games of the new season.

Better still for Gaston, his club’s offence continues firing on all cylinders, fifth starter Scott Richmond delivered a career-high 6 1/3 innings and ace Roy (Doc) Halladay starts today’s series finale trying to give Toronto three wins in four games at the Metrodome.

“There’s no guarantee when Doc goes to the mound either,” Gaston said before his team took the field for baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day. “But certainly you’ve got a good chance.”

That is more than could be said for Minnesota.

Despite handing starter Scott Baker a 2-0 lead after the first inning, the Twins quickly fell out of the game.

Although the right-hander gave up just five hits in four innings, four went over the fence.

Toronto, which finished last season 10th in the American League with 126 home runs, now has 17 in just 10 games.

Toronto’s long ball barrage included Aaron Hill’s third home run of the season, a two-run blast off Baker in the third that put the Blue Jays up 4-2.

Scott Rolen also continued his hot start with a two-run home run that tied the game 2-2intheseco­nd.VernonWell­sandMichae­l Barrett added solo home runs off Baker to stretch the lead to 6-2 by the end of four innings, more than enough for Richmond to earn his second career big league win.

The former dockworker from North Vancouver, who pitched in the independen­t Northern League before joining the Blue Jays organizati­on before last season, delivered arguably the finest start of his career.

All told, he gave up just four hits and two runs while striking out three before giving way to reliever Shawn Camp with one out in the seventh.

Recently called up reliever Bill Murphy made his first appearance for the Blue Jays.

The left-hander pitched a shutout eighth before right-hander Brandon League came on to finish the game with a scoreless ninth inning.

 ?? —Reuters ?? Pitcher Scott Richmond pitched his
finest game as a JayWednesd­ay
—Reuters Pitcher Scott Richmond pitched his finest game as a JayWednesd­ay

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