Encarnacion's homer hat trick leads rout of Tigers
By Jamie Ross and Jason Beck
MLB.com |@beckjason |
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion belted three homers, including a grand slam, and Drew Hutchison made an impactful return to the starting rotation, as the Blue Jays crushed the Tigers, 15-1, on Saturday at Rogers Centre.
Encarnacion drove in nine runs and Russell Martin added a solo shot, as the Blue Jays racked up 18 hits -- five during a six-run seventh inning -- to win for the seventh time in their last eight games. For the Tigers, it meant their eighth loss in their last nine games. Buck Farmer took the loss, going four innings while allowing eight hits and five earned runs. The right-hander ran into trouble early when he surrendered a three-run shot to Encarnacion in a four-run first inning. Farmer went on to allow a run in each of his next three innings before getting the hook.
"When he gets it going, there's nobody better, nobody more dangerous," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "He's smokin' right now."
Hutchison delivered a solid seven-inning performance after being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo a day earlier. The right-hander, who was optioned when the Blue Jays went with a temporary four-man starting rotation a little more than a week ago, allowed six hits, one earned run and no walks, while striking out seven, to register his third consecutive quality start.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Encarnacion's explosive day: The Blue Jays' slugger had a momentous afternoon, extending his Major League-best hitting streak to 24 games and driving in nine runs, which tied a club record. Encarnacion went yard three times, and hit his third grand slam of the season during his fourth multi-homer game of 2015. It marked the 18th time in club history that a player hit three home runs in one game.
"I'm healthy, 100 percent and I'm ready to keep going," Encarnacion said. More >
"It's not something you want to see," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "There's really nothing you can say to him. He knows he screwed up." More >
Davis speed leads to run: The Tigers had one chance to get back in this game early, putting runners at the corners with nobody out in the third after singles by Jose Iglesias and Rajai Davis. After Anthony Gose struck out, Ian Kinsler hit what initially looked like a double-play grounder. With Davis running on the pitch, however, he beat shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to second base, leaving only an out at first base, as Iglesias came in to score.
Davis said he was trying to steal second, "but I also didn't want to get doubled up, because we've [hit] into a lot of double plays. I really wanted to go before that, but that was my opportunity."
"It's the dog days late in the year. But when you're playing for something and you've got crowds like this, it helps you with the adrenaline a little bit better." -- Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, on the team's current run through August
"I think we're going out there and we're still competing. You see Gose out there with a hard slide. We're still out there competing to the best of our abilities. We're going to continue to compete. Right now, they're a better team than us." -- Davis, on the Tigers' effort
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his four hits, Ben Revere increased his hit streak to nine games. Over that span, the Blue Jays left fielder has gone 19-for-37 (.514).
Gibbons asked the umpiring crew to review Donaldson's ground-rule double in the seventh inning of a 9-1 game. Gibbons wanted to be sure the ball had, in fact, bounced back into play after bouncing over the wall -- which prevented Tulowitzki from scoring. After 57 seconds, the call on the field was upheld and Tulowitzki returned to third base.
Tigers: They haven't been swept in Toronto since 2003, but it'll be up to Alfredo Simon on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET to try to quiet a Toronto offense that has been churning out runs. Simon threw a one-hit shutout against Texas two starts ago, but has otherwise struggled since the All-Star break.
Blue Jays:Mark Buehrle will make the start for the Blue Jays in the series finale. The veteran lefty has been reliable, but he has hit a bump in his last two starts, surrendering nine runs over 10 innings.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.