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News on Shawn joining the 30/30 Club


BECOMES FIRST BLUE JAY TO REACH 30 HOMERS AND 30 STOLEN BASES:


It was the 12th run in a 12-1 blowout, but for Shawn Green it was the sweetest moment of his career. With a solo homer in the eighth inning of last night's win over Boston at the SkyDome, the Blue Jays right fielder became the first player in the history of the organization to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in one season. He got the 30th steal Thursday night. The 30th homer came off Carlos Reyes last night with Green swinging for the fences. "There are not many times you go up there definitely thinking home run, but that was one of them," Green said. The victory stretched the Blue Jays' longest winning streak in four years to eight games, and it moved them to within seven games of Boston in the chase for the American League wild-card playoff berth. Green admitted he owed Jose Canseco a debt of gratitude for pushing him to reach the 30-30 mark, a feat accomplished by only 22 major-leaguers, which includes the likes of Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Barry Bonds and Canseco. Canseco planted the 30-30 seed in Green's mind back in spring training. For the longest time, Green considered it a crazy idea, but the closer he got to the goal, the more Canseco urged him on. In fact, Green isn't totally convinced that Canseco hasn't been holding off on his own 30-30 campaign to let the career Blue Jay do it first. Canseco needs two stolen bases for his second career 30-30 season. "He's going to be there probably (today or tomorrow)," Green said. "He tells me it's harder to steal bases as the DH, because it's tougher to keep the legs loose. But he's the type of guy who would wait and let me get it first." "I'm extremely happy for Shawn," Canseco said. "I consider him one of the coming superstars of the game." The homer was merely the icing on an outstanding night for Green and the entire Jays offence. Green went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a single, and that historic home run, while the club overall produced a 12-hit attack. While the Jays are now within seven games of the Bosox in the wild-card race, the Texas Rangers moved to within 61/2 games thanks to a win over Minnesota. Despite back-to-back losses to Toronto and a red-hot pitcher named Roger Clemens facing them today, the Red Sox refuse to worry. "There's no reason to hit the panic button and start to look behind us," said former Blue Jay Mike Stanley, who scored the only Boston run of the game on a solo homer. While it was an historic night for Green, it was a night of relief for Jays starter Pat Hentgen. Hentgen was returning to the rotation after missing the first start of his major-league career, a span of 183 consecutive assignments, because of some tendinitis in his right shoulder. Following last night's performance, Hentgen declared himself totally fit. "I couldn't be any happier with my health right now," he said. "I'm not overly happy with the way I threw the ball, but it seemed like when I needed to make a pitch, I made it."

AT THE PLATE:


Shawn Green singled, doubled and then doubled again in his first three at-bats of the night. His eighth-inning solo homer made him the only Blue Jay to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season.

ON THE BASEPATHS:
Green stole his 32nd base of the season in the first but got caught in a rundown between third and home in the third inning on a base-running miscue.

Record night for Green Toronto player becomes first Jay in the 30-30 club:


This was just another night in which Shawn Green got a push from his buddy Jose Canseco. It was after a mammoth three-run homer from Canseco in the seventh inning that Green followed in the eighth with his record-setting 30th home run in a 12-1 Blue Jays rout of the Boston Red Sox last night. ``He said I'd better do it because he wanted to have two guys on the same team that did it,'' said Green, who became the first Toronto player to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. Canseco is just a pair of steals away from joining Green in the 30-30 club, which would mark only the third time that two players from the same team have done it in one season. ``He's going to be there probably tomorrow or the next day because the stolen bases are going to be right there,'' said Green, who also doubled twice and finished the night with four hits. Toronto won for the eighth straight time, the longest Jays streak since July, 1994, to move nine games over the .500 mark. In doing so, the Jays made a winner of starter Pat Hentgen (12-10) and mashed the fluttering knuckleball of losing Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield (15-7). But it was reliever Carlos Reyes that Green teed off on for his 406-foot blast into the right-field seats with the Jays already ahead 11-1. ``There aren't many times when you go up there thinking home run and that was definitely one of them,'' Green said. ``I just wanted to get it up there and get it out of the way.'' Green may not have gotten to swing at the changeup from Reyes had the Jays not sent 11 men to the plate in the seventh inning, scoring seven runs to chase Wakefield. The big blow was the 38th homer of the season by Canseco, a 433-footer over the centre-field wall. Canseco needed only one pitch from Wakefield, who had walked Green to get to Canseco. The last pitcher to pull a move like that on Canseco was Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees back in July and the result was a grand-slam homer. ``That was just coincidental,'' Canseco said. ``I've faced Wakefield before and I hit a couple of home runs off him last year. But tonight he was extremely nasty. ``He had me mesmerized all night, balls breaking down and away, up. It was impossible to make contact. He got one up that didn't do much and I was able to hit it out.'' It was Canseco who prodded Green to focus on the 30-30 season and eventually convinced the 25-year-old right fielder that he had the ability to achieve it. ``I'm extremely happy for him,'' Canseco said. ``We've been talking about that a long time. We've been talking about `Should I hit the home run first? Should I get the stolen base first? Should I pick up the base?' ``I told him, `Shawn, take it one day at a time,' '' Canseco said with a smile. ``But I'm extremely happy for him, he's a very talented player.'' Green was presented with the home-run ball by bullpen coach Sal Butera. Jays manager Tim Johnson tucked the lineup card from the game into Green's locker. ``Not too many great players in this league have done that,'' Johnson said. ``So for a 25-year-old to do it, that's just great.''

Green gains admittance to exclusive club:


Toronto -- Shawn Green already had done enough when he came to bat in the eighth inning of a game that was a foregone conclusion, the Toronto Blue Jays' eighth successive victory merely needing a final score. He had three hits already, a run batted in, and a stolen base. He had made a fine running catch in the top of the seventh when the game was 4-1 and still in doubt, before the Blue Jays scored seven in the bottom of the inning to make it a rout of the Boston Red Sox. But the hit that will stay with Green for a lifetime was a first-pitch changeup from reliever Carlos Reyes, a pitch he had expected and launched to deep right for his 30th home run before 29,166 spectators at the SkyDome. Bullpen coach Sal Butera rounded up a posse to successfully retrieve the ball. It made the score 12-1 as the Blue Jays moved to within seven games of the Red Sox, who occupy the American League wild-card spot and kindling thoughts of an impossible dream in the home-team's clubhouse. More important, it made Green the first player in franchise history to have at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in in one season. Green stole his 32nd base in the first inning. He is likely to be joined soon in the 30-30 ranks by designated hitter Jose Canseco, who hit his 38th homer last night against the restaurant window in centre field with two on after Green had been walked intentionally by Tim Wakefield, 15-7. Canseco has 28 stolen bases. Green's hit capped a game in which Pat Hentgen, 12-10, returned from missing a start for the first time in his career to go 6{ innings and 94 pitches for the victory. And today the Blue Jays send out their ace Roger Clemens, who is trying for his fifth Cy Young Award and second in row, against his former team. "It's an honour to be the first [Blue Jay] to do it," Green said. "It was good to get it out of the way." He is the ninth AL player to reach the 30-30 club and the second this year. Seattle Mariner shortstop Alex Rodriguez already has accomplished it. "Jose [Canseco] pushed me all year," Green said. "I thought he was crazy." Canseco was the first player to have a 40-40 season when he was with the Oakland Athletics in 1988. When asked if Canseco might have been holding back for him to reach 30-30 first, Green said, "I don't know, I'll have to ask him. He was saying it's harder to steal bases as a DH because it's harder to keep his legs loose. He is the kind of guy who would do that, who would wait. We'll find out." Green's big catch came with one out and one on in the seventh inning after left-hander Steve Sinclair replaced Hentgen. Pinch-hitter Jason Varitek hit a shot to right field that Green ran down at the warning track before his momentum took him into the fence in front of the Boston bullpen. "That was a tough play, he smoked that ball," Green said. "I didn't think I could catch up to it." That finished the Red Sox. Dave Stieb came in to finish up and picked up his second save. It was also a satisfying game for Hentgen. As he walked from the mound in the seventh inning to a warm ovation, he pumped an arm in appreciation. Hentgen had been gone a long time for him. He hadn't pitched since Aug. 24, missing last Saturday's start because of tendinitis in right (pitching) shoulder. It was the first start he had missed in his Toronto Blue Jay career ending his string at 183 going back to 1993. He did well enough, giving up four hits, four walks and a run, a home run by former Blue Jay Mike Stanley, to reduce his earned-run average to 4.90. "I didn't feel my shoulder tonight at all," Hentgen said. "I'm not overly happy with the way I threw the ball. It's a funny game. You make some pitches and they pop them up and you get away with them. "It seemed like when I had to I made some good pitches. I got two big double plays and those are always real helpful for a pitcher. It's like the goal posts for a goalie."

Jays continue to close gap:
Green joined an exclusive club (September 4) Shawn Green became the first player in team history with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season and the surging Toronto Blue Jays won eight straight games for the first time in four years with a 12-1 romp over the Boston Red Sox. Green matched his career high with four hits and for the second time in seven days came within one hit of the cycle. The right fielder, who stole his 32nd base in the first inning, hit his 30th home run in the eighth to cap the scoring. "This is the greatest time of my career," Green said. "As far as the team, we're having so much fun, we're winning and we're trying to get back into the race." The 25-year-old Green was intentionally walked by starter Tim Wakefield with a runner on second in the seventh. Jose Canseco, the only player ever with 40 homers and 40 steals in a season, then crushed the next pitch from Wakefield off the bottom of the windows beyond the center-field wall. The 433-foot shot was the 38th homer for Canseco, who has 28 steals. "I think Shawn Green is one of the upcoming superstars in baseball," Canseco said. "He's got one of the best arms in the outfield. I think he's just learning about his own abilities." Pat Hentgen (12-10) coming off the first missed start of his career, pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win. He allowed one run and four hits with four walks and two strikeouts as the Blue Jays matched their longest winning streak since July 17th-24th, 1994. Hentgen, bothered by tendinitis, threw 95 pitches and improved to 9-6 lifetime against the Red Sox. He faced his toughest jam in the third. With a runner on second and two out, Hentgen allowed consecutive walks to John Valentin and Mo Vaughn on nine pitches. But he got two quick strikes on Nomar Garciaparra and eventually retired him on a flyout. Garciaparra went 0-for-4, ending his 10-game hitting streak. "I was trying to be aggressive. I didn't want to walk him," Hentgen said. "I stayed with my fastball and threw five or six in a row. Thankfully, he popped it up. He's a fantastic player and you have to make your pitches on him." Steve Sinclair recorded the final out in the seventh inning and Dave Stieb allowed two hits and struck out one in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his second save. Stieb, back in the major leagues after a five-year absence, is the franchise's all-time leader in just about every mahjor pitching category. Toronto will sent Roger Clemens to the mound Saturday to seek its first nine-game winning streak since 1993, when it won its second straight World Series. "We have Roger going tomorrow and Chris (Carpenter) the next day," Green said. "We're going to try to put a show on them. These guys are tough, but we're playing good baseball." Darrin Fletcher also homered for the Blue Jays, who trail the Texas Rangers by one half game and the Red Sox by seven games in the AL wild-card race. It matched Toronto's biggest win over Boston last done in an 11-0 victory on June 20th, 1990. Wakefield (15-7), a knuckleballer, was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Red Sox lost for the third time in four games. "It's just two games, you just got to get back on track," Vaughn said. "There's no concern about the situation. We'll get out of this. We haven't had too many (losing streaks) and don't plan on keeping it up. It might happen tomorrow or the other day, it doesn't matter. We will be fine. There is no doubt here at all. We've played too hard and have too much character to be doubting ourselves." Wakefield left the game after Canseco's homer gave Toronto an 8-1 lead. David West replaced him and allowed a single to Carlos Delgado before walking Jose Cruz Jr. Reyes relieved and Tony Fernandez doubled to deep-center, scoring Delgado and Cruz. Fletcher followed with an RBI single to make it 11-1. Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Green scored on a passed ball by Scott Hatteberg and Canseco came home on Delgado's sacrifice fly. Boston made it 2-1 with two out in the second when former Blue Jay Mike Stanley hit Hentgen's 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for his 28th homer. The Blue Jays answered in the bottom of the frame as Fletcher sent a 2-1 pitch from Wakefield over the right-field wall for his eighth homer. Green's run-scoring double pushed the lead to 4-1 in the third. Every Blue Jays starter except for shortstop Alex Gonzalez had at least one hit. Shawn Green went 4-for-4 with three runs, two doubles, a home run and two RBI, and reached a milestone no other Blue Jay player has reached, as the Jays downed the Red Sox at SkyDome for the second straight night. Green hit his 30th home run in the eight inning and became the first Blue Jay to steal 30 bases and homer 30 times in the same season. Green is just the ninth player in American League history to accomplish the feat and the second this season (Alex Rodriguez with the Seattle Mariners). Jose Canseco broke the game open in the seventh inning when he hit his 38th home run of the season, a three-run shot, making the score 8-1, after Green was issued a free pass in front of him. Pat Hentgen returned to the mound, after missing his start last week with tendinitis in his shoulder. Hentgen (6.1IP, 4H, 1R/ER, 4BB, 2K, 1HR) pick up his 12th win of the season, while Dave Stieb collected his 2nd save. Tim Wakefield was the losing pitcher allowing eight runs, six earned, on eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Darrin Fletcher (8) also homered for the Blue Jays, while former Blue Jay, Mike Stanley (28) hit the Red Sox lone home run in the game.

ON THE BASEPATHS:


Shawn Green stole his 30th and 31st bases of the season and needs just one homer to become the first Blue Jay to have a 30-30 season. Stewart stole his team-leading 43rd base in the first.