TORONTO (AP)—Vernon Wells is responding to Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s critical comments with his play on the field.
Wells hit a grand slam in a nine-run fourth inning to lead the Blue Jays over the Texas Rangers 10-1 Monday night.
Ricciardi criticized his team just before the All-Star break, saying his three, four and five hitters were killing the team. Wells objected to the comments when asked about it at the All-Star game.
Wells is 6-for-17 (.352) with two home runs and six RBIs in four games since the break.
“It was a good night for everybody,” Wells said.
Toronto sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth, tying a season high for runs in an inning. Eric Hinske and John McDonald each drove in a run, Wells hit his fourth career grand slam and Overbay added a two-run homer off loser John Koronka (6-6). Second baseman Ian Kinsler’s throwing error also led to a run.
“It’s kind of nice to be able to breakout and get some consistent hitting in key situations,” Overbay said.
Ted Lilly (9-8) yielded one run and seven hits in eight innings for the Blue Jays. He struck out two and walked two.
“Our offense went through a stretch where they didn’t swing it like we usually do, but they know that’s not going to continue,” Lilly said.
Johnson homered in the third, and was hit by a pitch in his next two at-bats.
Lilly threw behind Mark Teixeira in the sixth, prompting plate umpire Larry Young to warn both dugouts.
“I thought it was intentional,” Lilly said of Johnson being plunked. “If I happen to hit (Mark), I wouldn’t feel too guilty about it. It’s part of the game.”
Koronka allowed 11 hits and a career-high nine runs in just 3 2-3 innings, tying a season high for runs allowed by a Texas pitcher. He struck out one and didn’t walk a batter.
Seven of the runs he allowed in the fourth came with two outs, including Wells’ second grand slam of the season.
“Today was a bad all around game for us. We didn’t pitch well, we played bad defense. It was probably one of the worst games we’ve played,” shortstop Michael Young said. “I’m going to throw it in the garbage can and look forward to tomorrow.”
Gerald Laird had two hits and an RBI for the Rangers. He singled in Young in the fourth to tie it at 1.
Texas has been held to three or fewer runs in 12 of its last 18 games. The Rangers have scored four runs in their last four games.
“Four runs in four days is obviously not going to get it done,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
Texas right fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. went 0-for-4, lowering his average to .212.
“The way I hit today my sister could have got me out,” Hairston said.
The Blue Jays disinfected both clubhouses over the All-Star break after two Toronto players, Alex Rios and Ty Taubenheim, came down with staph infections. The Rangers had some concerns about the visiting clubhouse. … U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins visited Toronto’s clubhouse before the game.