Blue Jays' bats go from hot to 'on fire'

Toronto scores franchise-record 36 runs during three-game series vs. Angels

Blue Jays' bats go from hot to 'on fire'

ANAHEIM -- The Blue Jays' lineup has been dominant all season, but the bats took things to an entirely new level during a three-game series against the Angels.

Toronto put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep with a 12-5 victory on Sunday afternoon. That brought the club's total number of runs this weekend to 36, which was the most in franchise history for a three-game series. The latest explosion surpassed the previous record set in 2003, when the Blue Jays scored 34 times from May 30-June 1 against the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays also set a record for the most hits in a three-game series with 48. The previous record was 46 from Sept. 27-29, 1985, at Milwaukee. It was a dominating performance by the Toronto lineup from top to bottom.

Blue Jays scoring at record pace

"We're on fire right now," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Everybody in that lineup has been swinging it and even today, we fall behind 5-1 early, you don't feel good, especially with [Garrett] Richards out there, but we just kept pecking away, pecking away and then exploded."

The Blue Jays had 10 players record at least one RBI in the series. In the finale on Sunday afternoon, Justin Smoak and Josh Thole were the only members of the starting nine who didn't have at least one hit and score at least one run.

Encarnacion's RBI single

Toronto finished the series hitting .393 (48-for-122) with a .436 on-base percentage. The club was even better with runners in scoring position (.409 average), and these are the type of gaudy numbers that are usually associated with video games instead of real life.

That type of production was one of the main reasons that even a four-run deficit in the first inning of Sunday's game didn't seem like a big deal. Toronto chipped away with one run in the first, two in the second, three in the third and two more in the fourth en route to its third consecutive blowout victory.

"When I came into the dugout, everybody was still upbeat and there was no reason to pout," starter R.A. Dickey said in reference to giving up five runs in the first inning. "I look at things in terms of metaphors so much and it really felt like a family win. Guys are encouraging you and saying, 'Hey, we're going to get them back, don't worry.' And they did."

The Blue Jays' lineup has been the best in baseball for almost the entire season, and the rest of the competition isn't even close. Toronto leads the league with 670 runs, which is 85 more than the second-place Yankees. The club also has a +164 run differential, with the Cardinals a distant second at +116.

The eye-popping numbers don't stop there. The Blue Jays have scored at least 10 runs in a game 19 times this season, which ties the club record set in 2003. It should come as no surprise that the production has led to a 16-4 record in August to take sole possession of first place in the American League East and represents the first winning record of that month since 2010.

"It's fun and it's a good thing when you get contributions with big days from one through nine," said Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who homered and went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and a pair of runs. "Having Ben Revere get on base as much as he did this series, Ryan Goins did an outstanding job, even Cliff Pennington when he played, he contributed.

"When those guys can contribute and one through six, one through seven, that we have going out there, it's going to be a fun day."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.