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Jays rain on Tribe's parade

<span class="subhead1" id="ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder_article_NavWebPart_Article_ctl00___SubTitle1__">Toronto rides Lind's hot bat, six-run eighth to victory and ruins home opener for Cleveland</span>

CLEVELAND–Opening Day in Cleveland turned into a washout as a light
mist at game time grew into a downpour that forced a record
postponement of the Blue Jays-Indians tilt at Progressive Field.

But rain couldn't dampen some early-season hitting fireworks from Jays designated hitter Adam Lind.

This
marathon of a game resumed after a three hour and 47 minute rain delay
with the Jays up 4-3 with one out in the top of the fifth inning.

The delay topped the Jays' previous record delay of 3:34, set April 2, 1987 against Cleveland at Exhibition Stadium.

When the game resumed – at 9:27 p.m. – Toronto eventually broke a 7-7 tie with a six-run eighth inning en route to a 13-7 win.

With the delay, this game took seven hours and 12 minutes to play.

"We
got something from everyone, pitching, hitting, defence. ... We thought
we had them (beat), but they kept coming back and it took that big
eighth inning to get the job done, but we hung in and got it done,"
said Lind, who has taken obvious strides in his hitting since manager
Cito Gaston and hitting coach Gene Tenace were hired last June.

Some
42,473 were on hand for the opening pitch, but only a few hundred were
left when the Jays' eighth-inning rally ended just after 11 p.m.

Lind
had a two-run double in that eighth to finish out this long,
rain-soaked day at three hits and four RBIs. The 25-year-old now has
three homers and 11 RBIs.

"He just keeps swinging the bat. I've said he's going to be a good player," Gaston said of Lind.

"He
learns, he listens, he pays attention. We talk all the time and he
doesn't necessarily come to me, I go to him a lot. But it's up to him,
he's in charge of what he does and where he goes in this game."

The
Jays had been down 3-0 to the Indians and rookie lefty Scott Lewis
after three innings, but a two-run homer from Lind in the fourth
sparked a turnaround for Toronto.

Lind also hit a double off the wall in deep left-centre field in the sixth inning and came around to score the Jays' fifth run.

"I realize there's a lot of baseball left this season and I just want to be consistent with my swing and what I do," Lind said.

"I've
had enough down times so I don't want to be overconfident with my
swing. I've learned it doesn't matter which way the ball spins, if you
get the bat on it, you have a good chance of getting a hit."

Jays
lefty reliever Brian Tallet gave up a solo homer to Shin-Soo Choo in
the sixth, then a two-run homer to Victor Martinez in the seventh.

Brandon
League, the third Jays reliever of the inning, walked two batters to
load the bases, then hit Ben Francisco with a pitch to force home the
game-tying run at 7-7.

Having blown two leads, the Jays built another in the eighth after Scott Rolen led off with a single, his third hit of the game.

With
the bases loaded, Marco Scutaro turned on an inside pitch and blooped
it down the right-field line to score two runs. Alex Rios doubled
solidly into the left-field corner to bring home the other two base
runners for an 11-7 lead.

Travis Hafner had a two-run homer for the Indians as the two teams put up 20 runs and 24 hits.

Through five games, the Jays have posted 37 runs and 56 hits.

Lewis,
meanwhile, had been looking to become the first pitcher to win his
first five starts with the Indians in over 88 years. Lewis bettered the
Baltimore Orioles in his first major-league start – Sept. 10, 2008 –
and went on to win his next three outings.

 
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