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Halladay and Scutaro hang tough

Halladay and Scutaro hang tough
The Blue Jays had another great day yesterday, downing the Chicago White Sox 8-2 behind another gem from ace Roy Halladay, three homers from their league-leading offence and an assortment of fine plays from a defence that has been overshadowed somewhat in all the success to start the season.

In fact, it was going almost too smoothly yesterday until Marco Scutaro, the best leadoff hitter in the game these days, gave the Jays their first big scare of the season.

Scutaro was struck in the middle of his chest by a throw from Chicago catcher Corky Miller as he slid into third with a successful steal.

A relatively mild scare was all it was. Scutaro returned from hospital after X-rays proved negative. He is listed as day-to-day with a bruise.

"It hurts like (expletive)," Scutaro said as he re-entered the Jays clubhouse after his hospital visit. "I couldn't breathe. ... Now when you put your finger there, it hurts."

Whether Scutaro plays today as the Jays go for a four-game sweep of the White Sox remains a game-time decision.

Scutaro said he feels good for the most part, but when he does certain motions, like sitting down, he feels a sharp pain.

Scutaro is one of four Jays to have played all 40 games to date (Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill are the others). He's been praised for his incredible eye at the plate (he makes more contact with strikes than any major leaguer), his defence is first rate and there should be no doubt about his toughness.

"We'll see (today)," was Scutaro's response when asked if he will miss any game action.

Should the Jays need a shortstop if Scutaro needs a rest, they have one of the best defensive infielders in the game on tap in John McDonald. Joe Inglett has been playing shortstop with Triple-A Las Vegas and could be called up if Scutaro's recovery drags on.

McDonald, if he starts today, would bat in Scutaro's leadoff position. Jays manager Cito Gaston suggested as much, largely because he believes in McDonald. The assignment would also be an easy way to keep the rest of the league-leading lineup intact.

Scutaro remained in the game after the peg from home plate struck him flush and left him rolling in pain at third. The steal was successful, and he scored on a single by Hill to put the Jays up 6-2.

Scutaro came out of the game in the seventh. He said his chest began to hurt when he went through his normal throwing motion.

Scutaro's run followed a fourth inning when designated hitter Adam Lind, with the club down 2-1, tonged his seventh homer of the season. Lind's three-run shot put the home side ahead for good and gave Halladay all the run support he'd need to become the major leagues' first eight-game winner.

Rios belted a solo homer in the first, which was huge since it was a quick answer to a pair of runs by Chicago in the top of the inning that came off three hits and a fielding error by Halladay.

Hill added a solo shot in the two-run eighth, his team-leading 11th. Hill now has 33 RBIs, second on the team to Lind, whose three RBIs yesterday raised his total to 35.

How good has Lind been at DH? A year ago, the Jays used 18 players at DH and totalled 99 RBIs out of the position, fifth-best in the AL, and 23 homers, good for ninth in the league.

Aaron (Hill) is our power guy, he's stealing all the RBIs," Lind said, smiling.

"We don't have a .250 (hitter) who hits 40 homers, we have to bunch our hits together."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 18, 2009

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