Toronto's Devon Travis was determined to control the pace of his at-bat in a seventh-inning showdown with Wandy Peralta yesterday afternoon.
The Cincinnati reliever kept throwing to first base and Travis called time-out a few times to keep his routine intact while eventually working the count full.
After a few foul balls, Travis drilled a tie-breaking two-run homer that helped Toronto to a 5-4 victory.
“It's something I've learned from watching a lot of these guys hit,” Travis said.
“Honestly, I think that might have been my first time really ever taking to that,” he noted.
“So that was pretty good.”
It's all part of the maturation process for the young second baseman.
Travis has enjoyed a scorching May after a sluggish April, and his play is a big reason why the Jays have won eight of their last nine games.
“He's driving the baseball," noted manager John Gibbons. ”He's hitting a lot of doubles and he's hit a handful of home runs.
“He's a good hitter, [that's] the bottom line," Gibbons added. ”He's going to be a good hitter his whole career.
“[April] was just one of those tough months, but that's all forgotten now.”
Travis' fifth homer of the season gave him 20 extra-base hits for the month.
Catcher Luke Maile also hit a two-run homer for the Jays, who swept the three-game series to improve to 5-1 on their 10-game homestand.
Toronto has gone deep at least once in nine of their last 10 games.
“We had a hard time keeping them in the ballpark this series,” said Reds' manager Bryan Price.
“They hit a lot of home runs.”
Starter Mike Bolsinger pitched into the sixth inning as Toronto (26-27) moved within a game of the .500 mark.
Jason Grilli (2-4) worked an inning of relief for the win, then Roberto Osuna survived a nervous ninth before nailing down his 11th save.
Scott Schebler took Osuna's first pitch over the wall for his National League-leading 16th home run of the season.
The Reds then put two runners in scoring position later in the frame after Ryan Goins made a rare error on a potential double-play ball.
But Osuna picked up his shortstop by striking out Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart to end the game.
“We knew we needed a punch-out and that's what he was able to do,” Maile said.
Toronto native Joey Votto hit a two-run shot in the first inning for the Reds (24-28).
Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman allowed three earned runs over six innings while Peralta (2-1) shouldered the loss.
The Jays now have won six-straight interleague games, and also improved to 15-12 at Rogers Centre this season.
Infielders Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki were given rest days after playing the night before.
Both players returned to the lineup this week after stints on the disabled list.
Toronto next opens a four-game series tonight against the AL East division-leading N.Y. Yankees.
The L.A. Angels edged Atlanta 2-1 and Seattle blanked Colorado 5-0.