MILWAUKEE—Ryan Goins left a strong impression in what might be his last game as the Toronto Blue Jays' regular shortstop.
A grand slam could help Goins continue to get playing time once the injured Troy Tulowitzki returns to the lineup.
Goins' sixth-inning grand slam was one of four homers hit by the Jays in an 8-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday afternoon.
The Jays swept the two-game interleague series and wrapped up a seven-game road trip with three-straight victories.
Tulowitzki and third baseman Josh Donaldson, who both are on the 10-day disabled list, could return from minor-league rehab assignments when the team opens a series this weekend against Texas.
Goins might be relegated back to a utility role just as he extended his modest hitting streak to three games, going 5-of-10 in that stretch.
“Yeah, I think I can play every day, so that's what I come to work for every day, playing or not and now it will be interesting to see,” he noted.
Goins is known especially for a good glove. But the left-handed hitter had been in a slump that forced his average to dip to .185 before his recent hot stretch.
“Tulowitzki isn't far off so his playing time is going to dwindle,” manager John Gibbons conceded.
“He's always believed he's an every-day player and he's had a chance to show everyone here that he can do it.”
Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, and Jose Bautista added solo shots for the Jays, who now have homered in four-straight games.
Bautista's towering shot caromed off the Miller Lite sign high above the centre-field wall 400 feet from the plate.
“Bautista is locked in right now, you can tell,” said Brewers' manager Craig Counsell.
Marcus Stroman (5-2) allowed four hits and a season-high four walks, but won his fourth-straight game—pitching into the sixth before Domingo Santana's two-out, three-run homer cut Toronto's lead to four.
The bullpen ended the afternoon by retiring 10 of the Brewers' final 11 hitters.
“Great job," Gibbons said about his relievers. ”This is a tough ballpark to pitch in. It really flies here.
“But they stepped up.”
Milwaukee lost its third-straight game.
Matt Garza (2-1) had the worst outing of his season, allowing seven hits and six runs over 5 2/3 innings.
His ERA ballooned from 2.43 to 3.60 after giving up three homers.
Garza retired the side over the first three innings and had good command of his slider, Counsell noted.
“But as the game went on, he didn't get away with any mistakes with his fastball,” he added.
“He left some fastballs up out over the plate and they put some good swings on them.”
Elsewhere in interleague play, Oakland beat Miami 4-1, Arizona topped the Chicago White Sox 8-6, Cincinnati edged Cleveland 4-3, and Washington downed Seattle 5-1.