04/09/05 2:40 PM ET
Notes: Wells concerned about wall
New video screens in outfield raise questions from players
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Boston's Johnny Damon needed six stitches on his left arm after hitting the light board Friday night and wasn't able to play on Saturday. That same night, Vernon Wells, Toronto's center fielder, said the screens are a nuisance on plays near the wall. He had one of those opportunities and pulled up to watch it, turning an otherwise catchable ball into a double.
"Normally, in that situation, I'm able to go up and not even worry about the padding. Now, you've got to worry about a hard scoreboard," Wells said. "Normally, I'd be able to jump into the wall and not have a problem. You do it now, you may kill yourself."
Toronto's grounds crew did some work on the boards for Saturday's game, designed to cover the rough edges and make it a safer playing environment.
That's not the only potential problem. John Gibbons, Toronto's manager, said the stadium's array of new scoreboards are too bright. He said he lost the ball on a few occasions on Friday night, watching from the dugout.
Slow start: Corey Koskie, Toronto's main offseason acquisition, has hit just .133 in his first four games as a Blue Jay. The third baseman had just two hits over that span, and both were singles.
He got another base hit in his first at-bat and then homered in his second on Saturday. Gibbons said before the game that he senses Koskie coming around. The manager also said that he counseled the veteran to relax and go about his business.
"You'd have to ask him if he's pressing," said Gibbons. "I told Corey, 'You signed a nice contract, but you earned that to get here.' You get paid on what you've done in the past, and he's earned every bit."
Big swings: The Blue Jays seized control of Saturday's game in the third inning. The Jays went deep in three consecutive at-bats, turning a one-run game into a four-run bulge. All three homers went to the same general spot -- right over the left-field wall and near Toronto's bullpen.
Wells started things off with a two-out solo shot, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead. Koskie went 1-1 before cranking his first homer of the season. Finally, Shea Hillenbrand homered on his first swing to complete the feat.
The Jays hadn't gone back-to-back-to-back since August 2001, when Shannon Stewart, Carlos Delgado and Raul Mondesi went deep against Minnesota.
Activation: Ted Lilly appears set to start on Sunday, which will likely mean a demotion for Gabe Gross. The Jays will activate Lilly from the disabled list right before the game, and barring an injury in Saturday's game, Gross seems most likely to go.
Gibbons said the Jays were holding Pete Walker back from pitching to serve as a bridge if Lilly can't get deep into Sunday's game.
"He's fine. We just don't know how long he'll go or what he'll have," Gibbons said of Lilly. "If he doesn't last long, Walker's there fresh to back him up."
Quotable: "It was a true double. It hit the wall and we both ended up in the same place at the same time. There's nothing you can do about that." -- Wells, talking about a collision with Frank Catalanotto on Friday night
Coming up: Backup backstop Greg Myers will get his first start of the season on Sunday, catching for Lilly against Matt Clement, Boston's hard-throwing righty.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.