Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Surging Jays win fifth-straight game

TORONTO—The Toronto Blue Jays have put up some impressive numbers of late and the long ball is helping them get it done.
Edwin Encarnacion hit two of Toronto’s season-high five home runs as the Jays capped a two-game mini-sweep of Philadelphia by outscoring the Phillies 12-6 last night at Rogers Centre.

It was the second-straight night that the Jays had a double-digit run total as they extended their winning streak to five games.
“We’re some kinda hot right now,” noted manager John Gibbons.
Toronto (18-17) has hit at least one homer in eight-straight games—a big reason why they have moved back over the .500 mark.
Colby Rasmus, Juan Francisco, and Adam Lind also went deep last night to help make a winner of R.A. Dickey (3-3).
“We’re swinging it good right now and everybody is feeding off each other,” Gibbons said.
“I would say right now it’s probably a good club to pitch for.”
Dickey had a few rough moments, but his knuckleball was moving nicely and it regularly handcuffed the Phillies.
He worked into the seventh inning and struck out a season-high eight batters.
“I’m making strides,” Dickey said. “I had a good [knuckler].
“I had one that was a swing-and-miss one tonight,” he added. “It was comfortable out of my hand all night long.”
Former Blue Jay A.J. Burnett (2-2) was roughed up for six earned runs over six innings. He allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out four.
“Balls ran over the plate tonight,” Burnett said. “I wasn’t on the corners at all.
“The hook was inconsistent,” he added. “I had it at times.
“The bottom line is the balls weren’t on the corners; the ball was in the middle of the plate.”
Encarnacion set the tone early by blasting his 200th career homer in the second inning.
“[I’m] swinging at better pitches, [I’m] more confident, and [I’m] feeling great at the plate,” Encarnacion said through translator Luis Rivera.
Rasmus hit a rainbow shot that barely cleared the wall by the right-field pole later in the frame.
Lind added a two-run shot in the sixth inning as the Jays pulled away.
Encarnacion added a two-run shot in the seventh before Francisco tagged a solo shot on the next pitch.
Jose Reyes broke out of a slump as his ground-rule double in the third inning ended an 0-for-10 skid.
He stole third and came home on a Jose Bautista sacrifice fly.
Reyes was at it again in the fifth inning after he was hit by a pitch.
The speedy shortstop—who battled a hamstring problem last month—stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, and then scored on a Bautista groundout.
“You can tell he’s feeling a lot more comfortable and he was able to turn it loose,” Gibbons said.
The Jays have won their last eight meetings against Philadelphia (15-18).
They will continue their nine-game homestand tonight with the opener of a four-game set against the L.A. Angels.
Elsewhere in interleague play, Texas blanked Colorado 5-0 and the Chicago Cubs dumped the Chicago White Sox 12-5.

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