Photo: Wikimedia Commons
CINCINNATI (AP) — Adam Lind homered for the fourth straight game on Friday night, hitting a tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that featured bothersome birds and a misplayed flyball.Lind’s homer off Mike Leake (6-3) marked the 11th time in Blue Jays history that a player homered in four straight.
Jo-Jo Reyes (3-5) gave up a pair of solo homers, including Drew Stubbs’ inside-the-park dash off a misplayed fly.
The Jays weren’t the only birds on the field. Three pigeons roamed the infield together most of the game. At one point, Leake left the mound and tried to shoo them away — they didn’t go far.
Frank Francisco gave up a single in the ninth before finishing for his seventh save in 10 chances.
Toronto’s first visit since 2003 — the inaugural season at Great American Ball Park — became a spotlight for the Blue Jays’ hottest hitter.
Jose Bautista’s RBI double tied it 1-all in the seventh. Lind hit the next pitch over the wall in centre, his sixth homer in his last 10 games. The last Blue Jay to homer in four straight was Edwin Encarnacion Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
Since recovering from a stiff back and returning from the disabled list on June 4, Lind is batting .413 with eight homers and 17 RBIs.
Leake faced only 19 batters in the first six innings, one over the limit, before giving up three in the seventh. He got the Blue Jays to hit the ball into the ground and let one of the NL’s top defenses make the plays. The best: Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips went behind second base to get J.P. Arencibia’s grounder and threw him out from the grass in shallow centre field as he fell down.
Phillips also threw John McDonald out at the plate when he tried to score from third base on a ground ball, keeping Toronto’s lead at 3-2.
Toronto’s defence was lacking in the sixth.
Stubbs, the Reds’ speedy leadoff hitter, hit a high flyball to the warning track. Bautista drifted over from right, waved his arm and called for it, and centre fielder Corey Patterson headed for the ball, too. Both pulled up at the last instant, letting the ball drop safely.
Stubbs slowed while he rounded first base, expecting the ball to be caught. He rounded the bases standing up after shortstop Yunel Escobar failed to come up with the relay throw cleanly.
Scott Rolen also hit a solo homer, his first since April 7, off Reyes in the seventh. The left-hander gave up six hits and a pair of runs in 6 1-3 innings.
NOTES: Toronto is 2-2 in interleague play this season. Cincinnati fell to 0-4. … The Blue Jays started a 10-game, four-city trip that concludes with a makeup game in Detroit. Their game on May 17 was rained out. … Stubbs’ inside-the-park homer was the first by a Reds player at Great American. … Reds 1B Joey Votto, a Toronto native, will receive the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete in 2010 before Saturday’s game. … Stubbs also fanned three times. He leads the majors with 95 strikeouts.
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