Blue Jays 11, Twins 2
Lyle Overbay was tired of talking about getting booed. He found a better way to answer.
Overbay hit one of Toronto's four home runs Tuesday, and the Blue Jays backed Shaun Marcum in an 11-2 romp over the Minnesota Twins.
Edwin Encarnacion came off the disabled list to hit a two-run shot and Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill also connected. The Blue Jays lead the majors with 65 home runs this season.
``It's been a fun ride so far,'' Wells said. ``Guys have swung the bats really well.''
Marcum (3-1) won his third straight decision, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings.
``He had it working today,'' Minnesota's Orlando Hudson said.
Overbay, jeered after making two errors on the same play in Monday's 8-3 loss, silenced his critics by driving in three runs, including an RBI double in the first. The game drew 27,981, Toronto's biggest crowd since opening day.
Overbay refused to answer questions when approached after the game.
``I'll make it easy on you guys,'' he told a media crowd waiting at his locker. ``No comment.''
While Toronto's fans may be hard on Overbay, who is hitting .190, the first baseman has the full support of his teammates, several of whom wore his jersey during a postgame autograph session with season ticket holders on April 18.
``It's easy to get down on people and try to beat up people when they're struggling,'' said Wells, one of those to show wear an Overbay jersey that day. ``It shows a lot more character when you're able to stay behind people, no matter what they're going through, and I think that's something we do in this clubhouse. No matter what, we're here to support him and it would be nice if everybody was on board with that.''
Wells was booed at home during a disappointing 2009 season that saw him hit .260 with 15 home runs. He has 11 home runs this season.
``I've been there and done that,'' Well said of being booed. ``For me to go through it is completely different than watching someone else go through it. I can deal with it. It's tough for me to watch someone else go through it, but he's handled it well and he's going to come out of it a better person. I know I did. You learn a lot from your struggles. But like I said, it would be nice to come in here and have it feel like a home park and be supportive, no matter what,'' Wells said.
Marcum acknowledged being distracted in the days leading up to his start by the recent death of his grandmother. He will leave the team later this week to attend her funeral.
``Today I just tried not to focus on it,'' Marcum said. ``It was more about just going out there and pitching. I think being around the guys and everything helped.''
Carl Pavano (4-4) was pounded for six runs and 10 hits in four innings. He has a 6.21 ERA in 10 career games against Toronto.
``He didn't have anything,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He couldn't get the ball where he wanted today.''
Encarnacion had been out since April 15 because of a sore right shoulder. Back in the lineup, he started the homer barrage with a two-run shot in the second.
Wells led off the third with his 11th home run, and the Blue Jays hit two more drives in the sixth.
Hill snapped an 0-for-13 slump with a three-run homer off Ron Mahay. Overbay hit a two-run drive off Jesse Crain.
``We said before the series started that the big thing with this ballclub was keeping the ball in the ballpark,'' Gardenhire said. ``We know they've been hitting a lot of home runs and they did that today. They beat the ball around on us pretty good.''
Wells added a sacrifice fly and Adam Lind had an RBI single as Toronto won for the 12th time in 16 games.
Marcum cruised again. He has gone at least seven innings in seven of nine starts this year. Casey Janssen worked the eighth and Jason Frasor struck out the side in the ninth.
Minnesota got its only run off Marcum in the fourth when Michael Cuddyer tripled off Wells' glove in center and scored on a single by Jason Kubel.
Minnesota's Justin Morneau came in with an AL-leading .374 average, but went 0 for 3 before being replaced by a pinch-hitter. Joe Mauer, second in the AL with a .360 average going in, went 1 for 3 with a double before being replaced.
NOTES: Morneau made his first start of the season at DH, with Cuddyer taking over at first base. ... Wells homer was his 203rd, tying him with Joe Carter for second on Toronto's all-time list. Carlos Delgado (336) has the most. ... OF Fred Lewis and C Jose Molina each had three hits for the Blue Jays.