TORONTO (AP) — A big win over the Boston Red Sox brought out a sense of national pride in the Toronto Blue Jays.
Not north of the border in Canada, but down south in the Dominican Republic.
Melky Cabrera, one of a record six players from the Dominican in Toronto’s starting lineup, hit a go-ahead double and the Blue Jays ended a season-worst four-game losing streak, beating the Red Sox 7-1 Sunday.
Shortstop Jose Reyes said he was proud to be part of the milestone moment for the baseball-mad country.
“No doubt,” Reyes said. “It’s good to share the same field with the people you know from back home. It’s a good feeling.”
The first four hitters in Toronto’s lineup were all from the Dominican Republic: Reyes, outfielders Cabrera and Jose Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
Juan Francisco served as the designated hitter, batting sixth, and outfielder Moises Sierra batted seventh.
Esmil Rogers, the seventh Dominican player on Toronto’s 25-man roster, struck out the side in the ninth.
In Toronto’s clubhouse following the game, Bautista and Rogers were using their phones to snap photos of the lineup card, which the Dominican players had autographed. Bautista said he intended to have it framed and sent to a museum in his homeland.
Manager John Gibbons, who penned the historic lineup, joked that it might get him some extra recognition.
“It might get me a job in winter ball,” he laughed.
What meant more to Gibbons was snapping Toronto’s recent slump.
“It was a much-needed win, I will definitely say.”
R.A. Dickey (2-3) won for the first time in four starts.
Jon Lester (2-4) allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked none, struck out seven and threw a season-high 122 pitches.