10/01/09 1:26 AM EST
Ruiz turns in career-best four-hit night
Blue Jays slugger comes up triple shy of cycle vs. Red Sox
By John Barone / MLB.com
In a further sign that the burly designated hitter hasn't allowed sporadic playing time to affect his productivity, Ruiz was the offensive centerpiece of the Blue Jays' 12-0 whitewashing of the Red Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park, launching a pair of solo blasts for his first career multihomer game.
The 31-year-old journeyman, who has spent time with 10 different organizations and did not reach the Majors until last season with Minnesota, collected a career-high four hits and scored four runs to help Toronto secure its first three-game sweep at Fenway since 2001.
Summoned on Aug. 11 from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he batted .320 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs to claim the Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player Award, Ruiz has gone deep nine times this season in 104 at-bats over 30 games, including a recent hot stretch during which he is batting .438 (7-for-16) in his past four contests.
"It's very nice to see," infielder John McDonald said. "There are a lot of guys on our club that have not played every day, and Randy's been one of them. He's sat the bench for a while. Everyone's just trying to end the season on a positive note. No, we're not going to the playoffs, but everybody wants to be as positive as you can be going into the winter and next year."
Precisely where Ruiz fits in the Jays' 2010 plans has yet to be determined, but manager Cito Gaston is impressed with the slugger from the Bronx, N.Y.
"He's got some power," Gaston said. "He's amazing, because he's hit .300 just about everywhere he's gone."
After years of being a baseball nomad, Ruiz hopes he's finally found a home in Toronto.
"Right now, I just want to be consistent," Ruiz said. "You try to learn every day. I'm in a learning process. Hopefully next year I can come in shape and [be] ready to play."
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.