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Lind has breakout game for Jays

Lind has breakout game for Jays

BOSTON -- Adam Lind couldn't help but think back to his high school days.

Hitting three home runs in a game doesn't happen very often, but the Blue Jays slugger turned the trick in Tuesday's 8-7 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, adding another achievement to what has been a breakout year for the designated hitter/left fielder.

Three days after notching his third two-homer game of the season, Lind one-upped himself on Tuesday by going deep three times in Toronto's first six-homer game since July 8, 1999. And the Jays have gone deep nine times in the first two games of this series vs. Boston.

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"I hit three home runs once in high school, so I guess I've been there once before," said Lind, who took Boston starter Clay Buchholz out of the yard twice to center field before touching up reliever Takashi Saito for a seventh-inning roundtripper off Pesky's Pole in right field.

"But to do it here at Fenway Park is pretty special."

The trio of taters was the most by a visitor at the Fens since Frank Thomas belted three dingers as a member of the White Sox on Sept. 15, 1996. Thomas was also the last Blue Jays player to hit three long balls in a contest, a performance that came against the Red Sox in Toronto on Sept. 17, 2007.

A third-round pick by the Jays in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, the 26-year-old Lind entered 2009 with career totals of 22 home runs and 94 RBIs in parts of three Major League seasons.

This year alone, the Indiana native has racked up 35 homers and 114 RBIs to emerge as one of the fine young power hitters in the American League.

"Outstanding," manager Cito Gaston said of Lind, who is batting .313 this month with eight homers and 25 RBIs. "This kid's just had an outstanding season and pretty much helped carry this club the whole year."

Lind's heroics came at a price on Tuesday, as he was drilled in the right elbow with a ninth-inning fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. X-rays taken after the game were negative.

"I'm pretty sore," Lind said. "I can't really move my arm too much from my elbow down ... just a lot of throbbing and aching."

Lind said he did not believe there was intent behind the pitch from Papelbon, who twice apologized to Lind on the field after the plunking.

"He was just trying to get me out, trying to hit his spot," Lind said. "I don't know what the catcher called, but I've been pitched [inside] a lot. He just missed his spot."

Toronto needed all three of Lind's homers to crack the win column, as Boston staged a furious rally in the final two innings to pull within a run of the Jays.

"He's unbelievable," winning pitcher Ricky Romero said. "He's done it all year for us. What a great way to have a good game, especially here at Fenway. I'm happy for the guy."

John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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