Burnett goes eight strong as Blue Jays blast Reds with 14-run effort

TORONTO (AP) -- The Blue Jays made Cito Gaston's return to Toronto one to remember.

Scott Rolen hit one of his team's three home runs, A.J. Burnett pitched eight strong innings and the Blue Jays routed the Cincinnati Reds 14-1 on Tuesday night in Gaston's first game in Toronto since being rehired as manager.

The crowd chanted Gaston's name as Toronto's long-dormant offense finally showed some life.

"It gives you goose bumps," Gaston said of the ovation. "It was a special night for me and it's just great to be back."

Alex Rios and Gregg Zaun also connected for the Blue Jays, who battered Bronson Arroyo for 10 runs in an inning-plus. Rios and Marco Scutaro each had four hits as Toronto set season highs for runs and hits (22).

"I probably could have told them what was coming and fared better," Arroyo said.

Arroyo became the sixth starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least 10 earned runs while getting no more than three outs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jason Jennings also did it last July 29 with Houston against San Diego.

The Blue Jays have won consecutive games after a season-high seven-game losing streak that cost manager John Gibbons and three coaches their jobs. Gaston replaced Gibbons before Friday's game at Pittsburgh.

"There's definitely a better feeling," Toronto's Lyle Overbay said. "They love Cito here. He's proven it with what he's done. Hopefully that buzz will get us over the top."

The struggling Reds have lost seven of nine and 11 of 16.

Burnett (7-7) allowed one run and four hits. He struck out seven and walked three.

"They gave him plenty of breathing room from the beginning and let him relax and throw whatever he wanted to throw," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Gaston said Burnett "pitched like a champion."

This one was out of reach early as Toronto batted around in the first and second to build an 11-0 lead. The Blue Jays sent 11 hitters to the plate and scored six runs in the first, then piled on with a five-run second while sending up 10 batters.

"The good thing was we came back and did it the next inning," Vernon Wells said. "That shows we're hopefully turning the corner here."

It was the first time the Blue Jays batted around in consecutive innings since Sept. 30, 2005, against Kansas City. The last time Toronto batted around in the opening two innings was May 26, 1997, during Gaston's initial stint as manager.

Arroyo (4-7) allowed a career-high 10 earned runs and 11 hits in the shortest start of his career. The right-hander's ERA rose from 5.55 to 6.52, and he is winless in five June starts.

"It seemed no matter what he threw, he couldn't get them out," Baker said. "There were just a lot of balls in the center of the plate and it's hard to get guys out in the center of the plate."

Arroyo was in trouble immediately, giving up two hits and a walk to the first three batters before Wells struck out. Matt Stairs brought home the first run with a sacrifice fly before Rolen hit a three-run drive to center, his fifth. Overbay followed with a double and scored on Zaun's homer to right, his fifth.

Rios led off the second with a homer to left, his fourth of the year and first since May 1. Wells singled before Stairs and Rolen chased Arroyo with back-to-back doubles, making it 9-0. Gary Majewski came on and gave up an RBI single to Adam Lind and a run-scoring grounder to Joe Inglett.

"The game was 2 hours old and we'd been on defense for an hour and 45 minutes," Baker said. "That's tough, man."

Rios finished 4-for-6 and scored three runs.

Overbay was the lone Toronto starter not to drive in a run, while Lind was the only one who didn't score.

Cincinnati's lone run came in the second when Brandon Phillips singled, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jay Bruce.

Adam Dunn, held out of the starting lineup Sunday because of a 6-for-54 slump, batted second and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Playing in his hometown for the first time, Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 0-for-3, ending a career-high seven-game hitting streak.

Game notes
Cincinnati 3B Edwin Encarnacion, who left Sunday's game at Yankee Stadium with back spasms, sat out again Tuesday. Jeff Keppinger started at third for the Reds. ... Toronto RHP Shaun Marcum (sore elbow) has been cleared to begin a throwing program after visiting Dr. James Andrews and could return by the All-Star break. LHP John Parrish, 10-1 at Triple-A Syracuse, will likely be called up Saturday to start in Marcum's place.