Steady as she goes

It doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘WAMCO,’ but the first five hitters in Toronto’s lineup, also known as ‘SHRWL,’ are having similar success as the famous one-through-five – White, Alomar, Molitor, Carter, Olerud – that manager Cito Gaston rolled out on a regular basis during the Jays’ 1993 World Series-winning campaign.

Entering action Monday night against the Kansas City Royals, this year’s fab five have produced the following numbers thus far:

Marco Scutaro – The leadoff man is hitting .273 with a .402 on-base percentage. He also leads the team in runs scored (18) and is second in the American League with 17 walks (Jason Bay, 20).

Aaron Hill – Hitting No. 2, Hill has put all concussion-related talk to rest by starting off on a tear. His 33 hits lead the majors, while his .367 batting average, five home runs, 18 RBIs and 54 total bases are all Jays’ team highs.   

Alex Rios & Vernon Wells – The veterans and No. 3 & 4 hitters have struggled a bit early on this season. Among starters, Rios has a team-low .244 (21-for-86) batting average with just one home run and 12 RBIs, while Wells is hitting .274 with three homers and just nine RBIs. But Rios has hit safely in his last eight games, while Wells is hitting .333 (6-for-18) over his last four contests, including a big leadoff double off Scott Linebrink in the eighth inning of yesterday’s 4-3 win over the White Sox.

Adam Lind – The No. 5 hitter has been perhaps the most pleasant surprise for manager Cito Gaston & Co. thus far. The 25-year-old Lind is batting .333/.409/.551 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. He also has a team-leading eight doubles, including one in the first inning yesterday that cashed in Toronto’s first two runs.

Cito has taken the ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach with his lineup during the first month of the season. Scutaro, Hill, Rios and Wells have played in all 20 games this year, while Lind has sat out just one. And they’ve all held their respective spots in the batting order.

In fact, Gaston has maintained remarkable consistency across the board so far. Scott Rolen has only batted out of the sixth spot (18 games), Overbay and Millar only out of the seventh spot (13 and 7 games, respectively), Barajas only out of the eighth spot (14), and Travis Snider only out of the No. 9 hole (13).

And as long as the offense keeps rolling, don’t expect anything to change.

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