Home Opener postgame
John Gibbons posed a question to the pack of reporters inside his office after Monday night’s 9-1 win over the Royals. Toronto’s manager was simply curious how long the home opener lasted.
"That’s it?!" responded Gibbons, when informed the game was 3 hours, 8 minutes long. "I would’ve said four."
That summed up the Blue Jays’ home opener. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t quick, but it was an overwhelming win for Toronto. Starter A.J. Burnett’s performance wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t quick, but he held the Royals to three hits and one run over 6 2/3 frames. Burnett worked out of two bases-loaded jams, and walked off the field to a standing ovation from the 50,000-plus in attendance.
How about the production from the Nos. 6-9 hitters? Alex Rios, Aaron Hill, Gregg Zaun and Royce Clayton combined to go 7-for-15 with six of the nine runs scored. Hill led the group with three hits — two doubles — and Rios had two singles as well. Vernon Wells belted his second homer of the year, knocking Hill out as Toronto’s team leader in moonshots.
"I told you it wouldn’t last long," Hill laughed after the game.
LOUDEST CHEER: Scratch that, and make it "loudest boos." The sellout crowd let out a resounding boo for the fan wearing a New York Islanders jersey who appeared on the jumbotron during the game. That’s a lot of disgruntled Leafs fans.
SHOW UP EARLY: On Sept. 2, the Blue Jays will have Frank Thomas Kids Pillow Giveaway Day at the Rogers Centre. I’m sure the people who weren’t big fans of the recent TV commercial where Thomas has a pillow fight with his "son" will be the first ones in line.
ON DECK: RHP Josh Towers takes the mound for his first start of the year. Not only is he coming off a 2-10, 8.42 ERA in 2006, he’ll be starting after nine days of rest. It will be interesting to see how Towers performs in his first start under those circumstances.