SAN DIEGO -- The Blue Jays inked 14 of their selections from last week's First-Year Player Draft to professional contracts on Tuesday.
The new signees include right-handers Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard, who were both sandwich picks between the first and second round. Sanchez was selected with the 34th overall pick and Syndergaard was grabbed with the 38th selection.
Canadian outfielder Marcus Knecht, who was added to the Blue Jays' system in the third round, also agreed to a contract.
Other signings included third baseman Christopher Hawkins (third round); righty Travis Garrett (19th); outfielders Angel Gomez (23rd), Ronnie Melendez (24th) and Stephen McQuail (30th); second basemen Andy Fermin (32nd) and Matt Abraham (49th); and pitchers Tyler Powell (34th), Daniel Barnes (35th), Brandon Berl (40th) and Drew Permison (42nd).
Gaston recalls '89 earthquake in Bay Area
SAN DIEGO -- When an earthquake shook PETCO Park during the eighth inning on Monday night, many of the Blue Jays players sitting in the visitors' dugout began to laugh and joke around.
Manager Cito Gaston had a different reaction.
"I see some of the guys laughing and stuff like that," Gaston said. "My first thought is, 'Hey, this could be bad. This is not a good thing.' I started thinking about, 'OK, where are you going to go?' There's nowhere to go. That's what I was thinking."
The magnitude-5.7 quake that made the stadium quiver was centered roughly 90 miles east of San Diego. It was not a serious temblor, but Gaston's response stemmed from experience.
During Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the A's and Giants, Gaston was sitting down the third-base line at Candlestick Park in San Francisco when an earthquake rattled the ballpark. That magnitude-6.9 quake caused massive destruction to the Bay Area and killed 63 people.
That night, Gaston was forced to sleep in a rental car near the stadium.
"There was a girl that was sitting in the stands," Gaston said. "She had a portable TV and she started to cry. I said, 'What's she crying about? Everything's OK here.' Then you start seeing all the bridges down -- bridges that we just came across the day before. It was some night.
"It was the first time I'd ever seen like a war zone. That's the way downtown San Francisco looked. It looked like a war zone. Streets were buckled. Things were on fire. It really was an experience that, I'm glad I went through it, but I don't want to go through it again."
Hill hopes three-hit day start of good times
SAN DIEGO -- Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was encouraged to see second baseman Aaron Hill deliver three doubles in Monday's 6-3 win over the Padres.
Gaston hopes the performance also helps Hill's confidence as he continues to pull himself out of a persistent slump.
"When you start to believe, things start to happen -- good things happen," Gaston said. "I've never not believed in him, but when you're not swinging the bat well, sometimes you doubt yourself once in a while. Hopefully that's just going to help him be a little more positive about himself."
Hill finished 3-for-5, marking only his third three-hit game during this trying season. It also represented the first time this year that the second baseman collected three extra-base hits in a game. Hill only had one previous game with two extra-base hits, though Monday's showing was his first contest this year with at least two doubles.
In the second inning, Hill drove in two runs with a two-out double off Padres right-hander Jon Garland. Then in the sixth, Hill added another two-base hit with two outs to collect one more RBI. It was the first time since Aug. 1 of last season that Hill had a pair of RBI hits with two outs in one contest.
"It's great to contribute when other guys aren't swinging," said Hill, who entered Tuesday hitting .196 with nine homers and 24 RBIs through 50 games. "You keep playing. It's a long season. I've been feeling good and you know eventually, hopefully, they'll fall. It's one of those things where you keep going. It's a long season."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.