PITTSBURGH (AP)—Cito Gaston and the Toronto Blue Jays finally got to have some fun on the final day of a difficult road trip.
Toronto snapped a seven-game losing streak and scored its most runs since a 9-8 loss to the New York Yankees on June 5. The Blue Jays scored only 21 runs during their skid.
“It was a big win for us,” Gaston said. “I thought overall everybody did a great job today. We scored some runs and (Pittsburgh) caught up with us, but they went back and battled again and scored some runs.”
“There’s not relief but happiness,” Inglett said. “It was good to see guys running around the bases laughing and having a good time again. … Hopefully that will continue.”
Gaston, who managed the Blue Jays from 1989-97 and won two World Series titles, took over again Friday when the club fired John Gibbons. He went 681-635 during his first stint before guiding the team to losses in the first two games of the series.
“It has been a long road trip, but hopefully this gets us going,” Overbay said. “The good thing about coming out of it is that we had good at-bats. We’re getting those quality at-bats, giving ourselves opportunities.”
Ian Snell lasted just four innings for Pittsburgh, which was trying for its first sweep of an American League opponent in seven years. Snell has won only once since April 12, and manager John Russell said he would undergo an MRI exam on Monday. The right-hander complained about irritation in his elbow after the loss.
“We are going to run some tests tomorrow,” Russell said. “Hopefully it’s not anything major but we’ll get some tests run and go from there. He didn’t feel right today and he has a little irritation.
“He faltered on a few pitches. Just to be on the side of caution, we want to find out what it is, if there’s anything in there.”
Snell allowed four runs and eight hits, walked four and struck out. His ERA climbed to 5.99.
“I’m trying my hardest. I’m trying everything possible,” Snell said. “My head’s there, everything’s there. I just don’t know what’s going wrong.
“To tell you the truth, I thought it was dead arm, but I was wrong. It’s just some irritation that I’m just going to get an MRI tomorrow and get it checked out to see if anything is wrong with it.”
Dustin McGowan (6-5) allowed four runs—three earned—and nine hits in five innings for Toronto. He improved to 4-1 in his past six starts.
B.J. Ryan pitched the ninth for his 15th save.
Lind ended a 12-pitch at-bat with a drive to right-center leading off the fourth against Ian Snell. Lind, who was recalled Friday from Triple-A Syracuse, gave Toronto a 3-1 lead with his first homer since Sept. 29.
Lind went 1-for-19 during a stint with the Blue Jays earlier this season.
“I was thinking about it, ‘Man, it’d be nice to get a hit after all those pitches,”’ said Lind, who also had a single. “He finally got one down in zone, and I got the bat head to it.”
Toronto went ahead for good in the sixth. Overbay had a two-out, two-run double and Rolen followed with his fourth homer of the season.
T.J. Beam (0-1), making his first major league appearance since 2006, allowed one run and walked two in 1 1-3 hitless innings for the Pirates.
Gaston, a former hitting coach himself, replaced Gary Denbo with Gene Tenace as his hitting coach Friday. At his introductory press conference, Gaston spoke of working with the hitters to improve the offense.
“One run’s been big for us lately, so (when you get that), you want to celebrate like a soccer team does,” Rolen said. “It seems like that from time to time, but we swung the bats well today. We were aggressive in the zone and put a lot of pressure on them.”
The last time the Pirates swept an AL team was Cleveland at PNC Park from June 15-17, 2001. … Pittsburgh fell to 60-100 in interleague play.