The Closer: Vernon! VERNON!

Notes from a day in baseball ...

1. Full Speed Ahead, Mr. Wells. The post-Shea Hillenbrand Era began successfully for the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, as Vernon Wells homered off of Mariano Rivera in the 11th for a 5-4 win over the Yankees. It was the first homer Rivera has allowed this season, and the first game-winning homer he's given up in almost two years. Jays' manager John Gibbons didn't offer to fight anyone, as he did on Wednesday with Hillenbrand, who was designated for assignment in part for writing 'The ship is sinking' on the team bulletin board. Fun quote from Gibbons: "(Hillenbrand) had a chance yesterday to defend himself in front of his coaches and his teammates.

2. Yankees A Bit Smaller In Rear View Mirror. Meanwhile, near the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Curt Schilling earned his 12th win with seven strong innings in Boston's 6-4 win over the Rangers. The Bloody Socks are now 2 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Yankees. Boston's string of scoreless innings ended at 22.

3. All's Well That Endy's Well. The Mets took the series with the Reds two games to one as Endy Chavez doubled in the 10th to drive in the winning run in a 4-2 victory. And there's your NL-best record folks, 57-38.

4. More Positive Cubs News For Your Enjoyment. Even though he didn't have a win in April, Carlos Zambrano improved to 10-3 on Thursday as the Cubs beat the Astros 4-1. Zambrano has won seven straight decisions.

5. Calling Ty Cobb. Anyone see Marcus Thames' slide at second base in the seventh, breaking up a potential double play? The next batter, Chris Shelton, knocked a run-scoring double as the Tigers beat the White Sox 2-1.