Gonzalez returns in big way for Jays

Gonzalez returns in big way for Jays

DENVER -- Alex Gonzalez did not miss a beat after missing two games due to personal reasons earlier this week. In Thursday's 3-2 win over the Rays, the Jays' shortstop belted a home run in his first at-bat back with the ballclub.

Toronto manager Cito Gaston knows that missing the previous two games was not something Gonzalez enjoyed.

"He's a kid that doesn't really want to be off," Gaston said. "I have to force him to take a day off."

That second-inning blast gave Gonzalez 13 home runs this season, representing the most long balls launched in one season by a Blue Jays shortstop since Chris Woodward finished with 13 in 2002. Entering Friday, Gonzalez led Major League shortstops in homers, RBIs (35), slugging percentage (.513), extra-base hits (30) and total bases (117).