ANAHEIM — At the end of April, which was a terribly dismal month for these Blue Birds, a reporter asked manager John Gibbons if he was looking forward to turning the page on the opening month and moving on as soon as possible.
“May flowers,” replied Gibby, flashing his signature smirk.
Entering Saturday, the Jays were one win shy of matching their best showing ever in the season’s second month. Toronto is a big-league best 20-9 in May — one win behind the 2003 club record of 21 May victories. For May, the Jays’ arms lead the bigs with 20 wins, 14 saves, six shutouts, 234 strikeouts, a 2.91 ERA, 263 innings pitched and a .211 opponents’ average.
Toronto has moved five games over .500 for the first time since last September, has a winning record on the road and has pulled within three games of the American League East-leading Rays. The Jays have done all of this while dealing with injuries to shortstops David Eckstein and John McDonald center fielder Vernon Wells, catcher Gregg Zaun and a few relievers.
“What, are you going to ask me if I’m going to look forward to June?” Gibbons said with a laugh on Saturday.
Here’s to avoiding the ol’ June swoon.
TORONTO (31-26) at LOS ANGELES (32-24)
at 9:05 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium
Shannon Stewart, LF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, CF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Matt Stairs, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Brad Wilkerson, RF
David Eckstein, SS
PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum (5-3, 2.64)
Reggie Willits, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Garret Anderson, DH
Vladmir Guerrero, RF
Torii Hunter, CF
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Maicer Izturis, SS
Jeff Mathis, C
Rob Quinlan, 3B
PITCHING: RHP John Lackey (1-1, 2.05)