Blue Jays rout Rangers, fly higher in East

Blue Jays rout Rangers, fly higher in East

ARLINGTON -- Justin Smoak hit a two-run home run in the fifth to put the Blue Jays ahead for good and Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam in the sixth in a 12-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. The score was 2-2 when Smoak connected off Rangers starter Colby Lewis for his 13th home run of the season.

The Blue Jays, with their fifth straight win, now lead the Yankees by two games in the American League East. The Rangers, with their second straight loss to the Blue Jays, fell a half-game behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot.

"It's tough to pitch against a lineup like that, because they just keep coming at you," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team has scored 54 runs over its last five games.

David Price, pitching on his 30th birthday, remained undefeated in five starts since being acquired from the Tigers, holding the Rangers to two runs in seven innings. Lewis took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) in five-plus innings.

Banister: Rangers must 'come out swinging'

"I don't feel I was terrible in any aspect of the game," Lewis said. "I could have made better pitches in certain situations. Sometimes it pans out, and sometimes it doesn't. I tried to keep it close, and it didn't work out that way."


Statcast: Revere's jumping grab

Revere makes sparkling grab: Toronto left fielder Ben Revere robbed Delino DeShields of extra bases with a spectacular grab in the third inning. Revere went back on the play and made a leaping grab at the wall, and the timing also was critical, because the Rangers would have put a man on second base with nobody out and the heart of the order coming to the plate. Instead of finding himself in a jam, Price was able to get through the inning unscathed before the Blue Jays' lineup did the rest of the work. According to Statcast™, Revere covered a distance of 75.282 feet, and his route efficiency was 95.508 percent.

"It was the type of play [where] I have to make sure that I'm going to catch it, otherwise he's going to end up on [third]," Revere said. "You know off the bat it's going to be a double, and you don't want to make it a triple. It was one of those deals, I was peeking and looking, and I'm like, 'OK, I think I have a chance at this,' and luckily it fell into my glove." More >

Encarnacion puts it on ice: Encarnacion broke the game wide open in the sixth inning with a grand slam to left-center. According to Statcast™, the eighth grand slam of Encarnacion's career was projected to travel 418 feet and left his bat at 110 mph. It was his second grand slam of the season -- both against Texas -- and he is now riding a 21-game hitting streak, which is tied for the longest streak in the Majors this season. Troy Tulowitzki and Nelson Cruz previously had 21-game hitting streaks.

"It feels good, but it feels better when the team is winning," Encarnacion said. "Just looking for my pitch. Trying to be aggressive in the strike zone, looking for my pitch, and it has been great the way I've been seeing the ball the last couple of weeks." More >

Encarnacion's grand slam

Beltre ties the Duke: The Rangers' Adrian Beltre hit his 407th career home run in the first inning, tying him with Duke Snider for 51st all-time. Next up is Alfonso Soriano, who had 412 home runs.

Rangers miss best shot at Price: With the score tied at 2 in the fourth, the Rangers missed one good shot at regaining the lead against Price. Mike Napoli led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch as Elvis Andrus worked a walk. Ryan Strausborger tried to bunt the runners over but fouled off the first pitch and took another on the inside corner. He then struck out and Price did the same to Chris Gimenez and Hanser Alberto. It was the only three at-bats with runners in scoring position they had against Price.

"I felt our approach against Price was good," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Once he gets the lead, he makes it tough on you. He stepped on the accelerator a little bit."

Jose Bautista walked four times for the third time in his career. That's one off the Toronto club record, which belongs to Melky Cabrera (Aug. 10, 2014).

Toronto has scored at least 10 runs in 20 games this season, a franchise record. The Blue Jays scored 10-plus runs 19 times in 2003.

In a 12-4 game, the challenge was meaningless, but it did say something about Toronto's Josh Donaldson. With one out and one on, he hit a grounder at shortstop Andrus. Donaldson busted hard down the line to avoid the double play and was rewarded with a safe call. Though the Rangers challenged and won the review, the lingering image was of Donaldson going all out in the ninth inning of an eight-run game.

Donaldson ruled out after review

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada pitches against the Rangers at 2:05 p.m. ET on Thursday in Arlington. Estrada is 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break. This will be his first start against the Rangers in two years.

Rangers: Yovani Gallardo puts his three-game winning streak on the line when he pitches against the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. CT on Thursday in Arlington. Gallardo has won both of his career starts against the Blue Jays, including 8 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 victory on June 27.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for 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.