TORONTO - Toronto manager John Farrell did a juggling act with his lineup to break the Blue Jays out of its hitting funk.
It seemed to have worked Saturday as Adam Lind hit a grand slam and drove in five runs and Ricky Romero allowed two hits over seven innings in a 11-2 rout over the Los Angeles Angels and their ace Jered Weaver.
The victory moved the Blue Jays to 60-59 and snapped them out of a slump that saw them lose three of their four previous games on the home stand including a 5-1 loss to the Angels on Friday.
“I think it showed a lot, with us coming out and swinging the bat the way we did,” Farrell said.
The slam in Toronto’s five-run fifth was the 20th homer of the season for Lind and the 100th of his career. Edwin Encarnacion, who had three RBIs for the game, and Mark Teahen also homered for the Blue Jays who scored eight of their runs against Weaver in 4 2/3 innings.
“In Adam's case that was his 100th home run and whether or not he paid too much attention to that number, it's good to see it behind him now,” Farrell said. “Even in his last at-bat when he tapped out to the pitcher, there were some swings in there we haven't seen in quite awhile.”
It was Lind’s first homer since July 26.
“The way I had been feeling I honestly thought (No. 100) would never happen,” he said. “But I just got a pitch, was aggressive with it, and hit a granny.”
Weaver (14-6) entered the game with a 1.78 earned-run average for the Angels (65-55) who have been contending because of their strong pitching. Weaver finished his outing with a 2.13 ERA.
It was his first start since Aug. 5 because of a suspension that he was serving for his actions in a game against the Detroit Tigers.
“The command wasn’t there, everything was kind of flat, nothing was really sharp,” Weaver said. “Usually I have a pitch I can go to to get me out of situations and I really didn’t have that today.
“It’s going to happen two or three times a year.”
He tried to keep sharp with the extra time between starts by throwing more pitches in his bullpen sessions.
“But when you’re not out there in a game situation it’s a little tough to get a feel for it,” he said. “No excuses, you’ve got to go out there and battle even though you don’t have your best stuff.”
The eight runs allowed by Weaver equalled his career high, which he had allowed twice before.
Romero (11-9) allowed one run, two hits, both in the fifth including Alberto Callaspo’s homer, and two walks in his 98-pitch outing. He lowered his ERA to 2.87.
“Just being consistent, throwing strikes, getting quick outs and getting deep into games,” Romero said. “There's really no other formula. I'm kind of just going out there and competing. I think the key for me every time I go deep into games is strike one. That's big with me and when I do that I feel like I'm in control.”
Encarnacion, who batted third with Jose Bautista not in the starting lineup, hit his 11th homer of the season in the first inning to put the Blue Jays into an early 2-0 lead against Weaver.
It also scored Yunel Escobar who led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Eric Thames.
The Blue Jays tacked on a run in the second when centre-fielder Rajai Davis and second baseman John McDonald hit two-out doubles. They were playing for Colby Rasmus and Aaron Hill respectively.
Romero escaped some potential trouble in the first inning when he allowed one-out walks to Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter. But he ended the inning on Mark Trumbo’s double-play grounder.
Callaspo led off the fifth with a homer and Howie Kendrick followed with an infield single but the Angels did nothing else against Romero.
Romero has gone at least seven innings in five consecutive starts. He had three strikeouts against the Angels.
“I get my strikeouts here and there but I think I'm at my best when I'm getting ground ball outs,” he said. “I think that has been the case the past few weeks. A lot of ground ball outs and a lot of quick outs. Today, we had some big innings and I was able to go out there, set them down in order and we got back to hitting.”
The Blue Jays answered the Angels’ one run with five in the bottom of the fifth that featured the second grand slam of the season for Lind and the third of his career.
Weaver loaded the bases for Lind on Escobar’s one-out double and walks to Thames and Encarnacion. Lind cleared the bases on the first pitch.
Teahen, who played right field in his first start since he being obtained in a trade from the White Sox, followed Lind’s slam with his first homer for Toronto to end Weaver’s outing.
The Angels scored in the ninth against Luis Perez on Hunter’s triple and Trumbo’s sacrifice fly to centre.