Catcher Gary Allenson's two-run, two-out double highlighted a three-run sixth inning in Toronto yesterday as the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers, 4-1, for a record 10th straight home victory.
The victory was Toronto's 13th in 14 games and helped the first-place Blue Jays preserve their 9 1/2-game lead over New York and 10-game lead over Detroit in the American League East.
"We're not worried about the Yankees or the Tigers," said Allenson. "If we do what we can do, we'll be in first place at the end of the season and there's nothing the Yankees or Tigers can do about it."
Last season, the Tigers got off to a record 35-5 start and were never headed. This year, it is the Blue Jays who have breezed comfortably to the lead.
"Any time you're that far in front, it sure puts a lot of pressure on the other teams," said Dennis Lamp (7-0), who pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings of relief. "When you get so far back, you think you're going to blow yourself out of the race if you drop another game. It's sure tough to play under those circumstances."
With the Blue Jays leading, 1-0, in the sixth, Cecil Fielder reached on a fielder's choice and Garth Iorg followed with a single off loser Chris Welsh (2-3).
Allenson then hit the club's fourth double of the game to score Fielder and Iorg. Allenson scored on Tony Fernandez's double for a 4-0 lead.
Left-hander Jimmy Key started for the Blue Jays but left after 2 1/3 innings because of a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand, with Lamp coming on in relief. Bill Caudill went the final two innings for his 14th save.