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Thomas homers twice, moves past Murray on all-time list

Aug 4, 2007 - 10:31 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- With Alex Rodriguez closing in, Frank Thomas made his own way up the all-time home run list.

Thomas homered twice and drove in four runs as the Toronto Blue Jays posted a 9-5 victory over the Texas Rangers in the middle game of a weekend series on Saturday.

With New York Yankees slugger Rodriguez becoming the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs with a first-inning shot against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Thomas blasted Nos. 504 and 505 to move past Eddie Murray for 20th place on the career list.

"He's one of my buddies and one of the greatest of all-time," Thomas said of Murray. "It's a good feeling."

The 39-year-old designated hitter had been the most recent addition to the 500 club prior to Saturday, becoming the 21th member on June 28 with blast off Minnesota's Carlos Silva.

"This season's been crazy. It's been up and down," said Thomas, who is hitting .255 on the year. "I wish I had played with more consistency early, but we play for six months. With two months left you just never know what could happen. Two months can make your season."

Although Rodriguez is poised to pass him on the all-time list in due time, Thomas expressed his pleasure for the Yankee slugger's achievement.

"I'm happy for him because I know it was getting stressful for him," Thomas said. "Now he's probably going to take off like the rest of his season's been."

Similar to Rodriguez, Thomas connected for a three-run shot during the first inning - a six-run frame. He also added a solo homer in the third off Texas starter Willie Eyre (3-4) for a 7-2 advantage.

It was the second multi-homer game of the season and 31st career for Thomas.

The early offense was more than enough for Shaun Marcum (8-4).

Normally a pitcher that does not get a decent amount of support, Marcum allowed three runs - two earned - and eight hits in six innings. He also struck out five without issuing a walk to improve to 3-1 with a 5.71 ERA in his last five starts at Rogers Centre.

"We got that big lead so instead of pitching to the corners (myself) and (catcher Gregg) Zaun just decided to pitch to the halves of the plate and make them put the ball in play," said Marcum, who induced eight groundball outs.

Prior to Saturday, the Blue Jays had averaged just over three runs in the seven previous games started by Marcum.

"He deserves that," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of the rare support. "He's pitched so good this year. You give him a little breathing room on a day when he wasn't at his best and he managed to get the win."

Conversely, Eyre struggled after being named a last-second starter. Making his first start since June 26, the 29-year-old righthander gave up seven runs and six hits in just 2 1/3 innings.

"I made a lot of good pitches," Eyre said. "There are a couple I'd take back obviously, but I thought I threw well. They just got me."

Originally, the Rangers planned to recall Mike Wood from Class AAA Oklahoma to make a spot start. However, it was decided that he needed more rest after throwing 81 pitches over eight innings in a win for the RedHawks on Wednesday.

Reed Johnson opened the bottom of the first against Eyre with a single before Lyle Overbay worked a walk. Alex Rios and Vernon Wells ripped RBI doubles before Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor came out to try and settle down Eyre.

The pep talk did not work, as Thomas drove the first pitch he saw to left-center field for a 5-1 advantage.

"Eyre's probably going to try to get ahead," Thomas said. "I'm not a big time first-ball hitter. You've got to pick your spots and that was one of those situations where I picked my spot."

Troy Glaus then walked before Eyre finally got his first out when Aaron Hill flied out to center field. Gregg Zaun singled to put runners on the corners before John McDonald's sacrifice plated Glaus and rounded out the early outburst.

McDonald, who finished with two hits, added a two-run double in the fifth for a 9-3 lead.

With Hill doubling earlier in the frame to put runners at second and third with two outs, Rangers lefthander A.J. Murray intentional walked Zaun before righthander Wes Littleton came on to face the righthanded-hitting McDonald.

"I think I would have walked Zaun in that situation to get to me too," said McDonald, who snapped an 0-for-8 slump with the double.

Michael Young had an RBI single in the fourth inning and Brad Wilkerson homered in the ninth for Texas, which dropped its third straight game.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 11 0
    TORONTO 6 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 x 9 9 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - WILLIE EYRE, A.J. MURRAY (3RD), WES LITTLETON (5TH), FRANK
    FRANCISCO (8TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    TOR - SHAUN MARCUM, BRIAN WOLFE (7TH), BRIAN TALLET
    (8TH), BRANDO

    Aug 4 4:05 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM MELHUSE SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A MELHUSE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    TORONTO 9 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.319, 0-FOR-4)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 3:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD WILKERSON (16) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF BRANDON LEAGUE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4, TORONTO 9
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.239, 1-FOR-4)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 3:51 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN MCDONALD SCORED TROY GLAUS AND AARON HILL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MCDONALD ON SECOND, G ZAUN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    TORONTO 9 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.274, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 2:59 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    TORONTO 7 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.322, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 2:35 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (18) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF WILLIE EYRE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, TORONTO 7
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.260, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 2:15 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED JASON BOTTS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    TORONTO 6 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J SALTALAMACCHIA (.071, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 2:06 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE BY JOHN MCDONALD SCORED TROY GLAUS.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, G ZAUN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 6 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.278, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 1:40 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (17) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    0 OUT IN THE 1ST OFF WILLIE EYRE SCORED ALEX RIOS AND VERNON WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.260, 15 HR, 49 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 1:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED LYLE OVERBAY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, A RIOS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.252, 16 HR, 56 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 1:32 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, L OVERBAY ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.259, 14 HR, 57 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 1:30 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 1 1 2 0
    TORONTO 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - WILLIE EYRE
    TOR - SHAUN MARCUM

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.272, 2 HR, 10 RBI)
    L OVERBAY (.255, 8 HR, 32 RBI)
    A RIOS (.303, 20 HR, 63 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Blue JaysAug 4 1:23 PM