Blue Jays storm back with five homers
Overbay, Snider, Wells, Hill, Lind go deep vs. Rangers
TORONTO -- The struggles of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have been part of the Toronto Blue Jays' early-season story.
So have home runs and comeback wins.
All of those elements came together Friday as the Blue Jays fashioned their 12th comeback victory of the season with five home runs, including one each from Hill and Lind.
When the merry-go-round on the bases finally stopped, the Blue Jays had a 16-10 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Toronto had trailed 3-0 after Texas batted in the top of the first as starter Brett Cecil struggled.
The Blue Jays tied it against Rich Harden, who battled control issues in the bottom of the first, but soon found themselves down again, 9-3, entering the bottom of the third.
That's when they erupted with eight runs with the big damage coming from three-run homers by Travis Snider and Vernon Wells and a solo shot by Lyle Overbay.
Snider's sixth homer of the season came after he fouled off five pitches with a full count and it chased Harden.
"He battled off some tough pitches," Lind said. "Then he got one right down the middle and hit it a long, long way."
Hill also hit a three-run homer in the fourth and Lind followed with his sixth of the season.
Toronto leads the Majors with 57 homers.
"The way we came back says a lot about the team," Lind said. "We came back once and to come back again says a lot about our offense. ... We were having good at-bats and were patient. And that was the key for us to score those runs was being patient. It's nice when the winds blow out."
It was a difficult night for both managers who needed to go to their bullpens early and often.
"It was tough, but I'm glad we're on this side," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "It was a team win for us tonight. A lot of pitches both sides and a lot of hits."
Cecil lasted only two innings and allowed eight earned runs on eight hits, including a solo home run from Max Ramirez in the second. Cecil walked two.
Josh Roenicke (1-0) was given credit for his first Major League win, despite giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings. Casey Janssen replaced him to gain control of the game by holding Texas to one hit in three innings.
"He did a great job for us," Gaston said. "We needed someone to come in and just hold them for a while, just get us through a couple of innings."
Harden, who is from Victoria, B.C., could not hold the 9-3 lead and after the no-decision, Harden remained winless in eight career starts against the Blue Jays. Toronto scored seven runs in 2 2/3 innings against him on six walks and four hits.
"It's tough on a personal level the way I pitched, I expect a lot out of myself and it's just embarrassing," Harden said. "It's hard knowing I let the team down. They gave me a bunch of runs, and all I had to do was at least get through five and give our 'pen a break."
"When a pitcher's out there struggling to find the strike zone, you've got to be patient," Hill said. "If you're patient, you may put some guys on. It happened a couple of times and then we came up with the big hit."
Doug Mathis (1-) gave up seven hits, including three homers, and eight runs in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.
"Any time you come back like that and get the bats rolling it's fun," said Hill, who has been struggling this season. "It`s fun for the fans. It's a good game to end up on top. We didn't try to do too much is the main thing. I love the way we played."
Hill is batting .184 and spent time on the disabled list this season with a hamstring injury. The three RBIs on Friday gave him nine for the season to go with three homers. Lind is batting .223, but has 20 RBIs.
Hill feels it is only a matter of time before the hits start dropping.
"It's one of those things where you keep going," Hill said. "There's nothing you can do. I feel good, it's just that you've got to keep going and eventually they will fall."
Wells, who had four RBIs for the game, has 10 homers this season and 202 for his career, tying George Bell for third on the club's all-time list.
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.