ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Lyle Overbay's right hand still isn't 100 percent almost a year after it was broken, yet it was strong enough to enable him to reach the seats twice against the Los Angeles Angels.
Overbay recorded his sixth career multihomer game and added an RBI single, leading Toronto to a 10-4 victory over the AL West leaders on Friday night and making it a pleasant homecoming for Blue Jays shortstop David Eckstein.Overbay hit 22 home runs in 2006, his first with the Blue Jays after he was traded by Milwaukee. But on June 3, he was hit on the hand by John Danks of the White Sox and missed 5 1/2 weeks. He finished the season with 10 homers."It was something that I don't really want to go through again," Overbay said. "It's frustrating because you don't realize how strong your bottom hand is -- and when it's not working the way it's supposed to, you struggle."It's still a little sore and a little weak, but at least I feel normal, anyway. I'm taking advantage of the pitches I get and they're squeaking out there."Dustin McGowan (4-4) won for the first time in seven road starts this season, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits over six innings with a walk and six strikeouts. The right-hander was the losing pitcher in three of the Blue Jays' last five losses to the Angels, including a 3-1 setback on May 20 at Toronto.Scott Rolen tripled home a run and triggered a four-run fifth with an RBI single for the Blue Jays, who are a season-best five games over .500 following their eighth victory in nine games.Brad Wilkerson added a pair of two-out RBI singles for Toronto. It was the first time in McGowan's 12 starts this season that his teammates scored more than three runs. They averaged 2.18 runs in his first 11 outings."Anytime you can swing the bats well and get some nice production, no matter who's on the mound, that's the idea," Rolen said. "We hit a tough stretch early in the season and weren't scoring runs. But there's a lot of season left."Jered Weaver (4-6) gave up six runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings, striking out two and walking none.Eckstein, who spent his first four big league seasons with the Angels and helped them win a World Series title in 2002, played his first game in Anaheim since leaving the club after the 2004 campaign. He received a thunderous ovation from the crowd of 42,577 his first time up, but was the only player in the Blue Jays' starting lineup without a hit.The last time Eckstein played at the "Big A" was Oct. 6, 2004, when he went 1-for-3 against Boston's Pedro Martinez in Game 2 of the AL division series."I'm happy to be back in front of these fans," said Eckstein, who stepped out of the batter's box and doffed his helmet his first time up. "This is like home because this is the team that gave me a shot to play in the big leagues. Just thinking about having an opportunity to come back here and seeing the coaching staff and everything, it's like a walk down memory lane."The Blue Jays broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth. Rolen chased Weaver with a single that drove in the go-ahead run. Overbay had an RBI single against Darren Oliver, Rolen scored on a groundout by Rod Barajas and Wilkerson capped the rally with his first RBI single."It was just one of those games where some good pitches fell in and pitches I got up they hit pretty hard," Weaver said. "They battled me hard. I was trying to battle just as hard back, and it just didn't work out for me."Overbay broke out of an 0-for-11 drought in the second with a leadoff homer into the right-field corner on a changeup. The Angels tied it in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly by Howie Kendrick, who returned to the lineup after missing the previous 42 games with a strained left hamstring.Overbay homered again in the seventh against Justin Speier, turning on an inside fastball and driving the 1-2 delivery just over the short fence in the right-field corner for his fifth of the season and first multihomer game since May 9, 2007, in a 9-3 loss to Boston."He had such a big year for us two years ago, then last year he was out with the hand injury," manager John Gibbons said. "So you figure when he got back to full strength, you hop you'd get what you got two years ago. And he's starting to do that now. The last three weeks he's really started to drive the ball."
Eckstein, who caught the final out in the clinching game of the 2002 AL division series and the AL Championship Series, and still has both baseballs in his home. Only five players remain from the Angels' championship club -- Garret Anderson, Chone Figgins, John Lackey, Francisco Rodriguez and Scot Shields. ... It was the second straight game that an opposing player homered twice against the Angels. Marcus Thames did it on Wednesday night for Detroit.