They’ll look to keep producing at the plate when they wrap up their three-game series with the defending champion Boston Red Sox.
The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 12-5 on Saturday, evening up the series. Greg Zaun hit a grand slam in a six-run eighth inning, and Vernon Wells, Corey Koskie and Shea Hillenbrand hit consecutive homers in the third.
The back-to-back-to-back homers were Toronto’s first since 2001. The Blue Jays racked up a total of 16 hits.
“Guys are getting good at-bats,” Zaun said. “We don’t have a Sosa, McGwire or even a Delgado anymore, but two guys like Hillenbrand and Koskie could hit 25 a piece to make up for that.”
Delgado signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins during the offseason, after spending 12 seasons—and hitting 336 home runs—with Toronto.
“We’re sending a message,” said reliever Jason Frasor, who earned the win Saturday. “We’re a better team this year. Teams can’t come in to Toronto and breeze through a series.”
The Blue Jays, who took two of three from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in their season-opening series, are playing their last game before a nine-game road trip to Oakland, Texas and Boston.
David Ortiz homered for the Red Sox, who fell to 2-1 since manager Terry Francona was hospitalized Wednesday after experiencing chest pains. Francona is expected to return for Monday’s home opener at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox will send new starter Matt Clement, who signed with Boston as a free agent in the offseason, to the mound on Sunday. Clement allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits—including a Hideki Matsui homer—in 4 1-3 innings without receiving a decision in his Red Sox debut, a 4-3 Boston loss to the Yankees on Tuesday.
“Matt did a good job. He kept us in that game,” catcher and team captain Jason Varitek said. “He made one mistake to Matsui, who is swinging the bat extremely well. Other than that, that was damage control. He kept us in the game and gave us an opportunity.”