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TOR@TEX: Lind takes Tomko deep for three runs

ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays are desperate to get Major League home run leader Jose Bautista some protection in the middle of the lineup.

Enter Adam Lind and his favorite place to hit, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Lind revived his Texas magic Tuesday night, crushing two home runs and piling up five RBIs in the Blue Jays' 10-3 victory over the Rangers.

Lind has nine home runs and 25 RBIs in his last 12 games in Arlington. If the Blue Jays could play every game here, Bautista would see nothing but fastballs.

But for the here and now, Toronto can only hope Lind keeps this up for two more games against Texas, and then take his power bat to New York.

"I just had a good game tonight," Lind said. "I didn't feel real great coming in [Monday]. I was hitting .230, we just got it put to us by [James] Shields and David Price and all of the pitchers before that the last two weeks. It feels like we've been facing some tough pitching."

"He hits us pretty good, that's for sure," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We've got to figure out how to get him out and see if we can do it the next two nights."

Lind's two homers set up Jesse Litsch to push through six innings in his first start since being sent down to the Minor Leagues last week. Litsch allowed three runs on seven hits.

He survived giving up three runs on four straight hits in the second by getting his cutter going. Litsch allowed three singles in the next four innings. He got a key double play in the fifth, with the Blue Jays leading, 7-3. Ian Kinsler led off with a walk, and Elvis Andrus followed by grounding into a double play.

"Everything was moving good," Litsch said. "I was just trying to keep them off balance and work in my strengths and hopefully find their weaknesses."

Left-hander Matt Harrison had been pitching well for the Rangers, but he got into some early trouble. Yunel Escobar and Corey Patterson singled to start the game, and then Harrison pitched around Bautista, walking him on five pitches.

That brought up Lind, who won the lefty-lefty matchup with Harrison, swatting a first-pitch cutter into right field to score Escobar for 1-0 lead. That seemed to ignite Lind and the Blue Jays' offense. Juan Rivera and J.P. Arencibia walked with the bases loaded for a 3-0 lead. Travis Snider grounded into a double play and John McDonald had a two-out RBI single for a 5-0 lead.

"We swung the ball well the last two nights," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "We came out and manufactured a big inning without the long ball."

Lind then produced two loud long balls. He led off the third against Harrison, working a 1-1 count before lifting a sky high fly ball to left field. The towering shot got up into the Rangers Ballpark jet stream and carried out for a 6-0 lead.

"I hit it good but I wasn't sure," Lind said. "[Rangers left fielder] David Murphy has caught a lot of fly balls against me. And he looked like he had a track on that one." Snider added another run with a single to make it 7-3, setting the stage again for Lind in the fourth.

Lind provided the crushing blow, ripping a three-run blast on the first pitch from reliever Brett Tomko to right field for a 10-3 cushion.

Lind now has five career multihomer games, three of them coming in Arlington. His last multi-home run game came in '09, when he three home runs against Boston at Fenway Park. Lind hit a career-best 35 home runs that season.

He slipped to 23 homers last year and only batted .237. So the sudden burst of power Tuesday night could bode well for a lineup that needs someone to protect Bautista.

Lind has three home runs for the season, and his 17 RBIs lead the club.

"It's very encouraging to see him with that kind of production with so many teams are now pitching around Jose on a pretty regular basis," Farrell said.

Lind understands the pressure of producing behind great players, and a lot has been expected of him since his 35-homer, 117-RBI season in '09.

"I've always felt pressure my entire career," Lind said. "When I first came up, believe or not, I was hitting leadoff. I was hitting in front of Frank Thomas and Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus. I didn't really do too well. And then in '09, I hit behind Vernon.

"I just wanted to give him protection. Now it's the same thing. Jose has been walking a lot and you can tell people don't want to pitch to him, so I really want to prove to them that they have to pitch to him." Comments