Solid Sanchez boosted by Encarnacion's shot

Solid Sanchez boosted by Encarnacion's shot

SAN FRANCISCO -- Continuing his history of thriving at AT&T Park and against Interleague competition, Edwin Encarnacion belted a third-inning, two-run homer Monday to support Aaron Sanchez and propel the Toronto Blue Jays past the San Francisco Giants, 3-1.

Encarnacion, a .356 lifetime hitter at AT&T Park, delivered his 34th Interleague homer since 2010, tying teammate Jose Bautista for the Major League lead in that span, to lengthen Toronto's lead to 3-0. That sufficed for Sanchez (3-1), who surrendered one run and three hits in seven innings.

"It was a great ballgame tonight," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Sanchy led the way. His command was off a little bit but he showed what he can do even when it's a little bit off. ... Big homer by Eddie, that always helps."

• Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Encarnacion and other #ASGWorthy players

Giants starter Jake Peavy (1-4) improved upon his previous two starts, when he allowed 13 runs, but still absorbed his first defeat at AT&T Park since last July 8, a span of 11 home outings. Peavy, who owns an 8.47 ERA, yielded all of Toronto's runs and five hits in five innings. Of the five Blue Jays he walked, two scored.

A more troubling issue for the Giants was their offense, which has generated three runs in their last three games, encompassing 31 innings. San Francisco is batting .095 (2-for-21) with runners in scoring position during that span.

"We just ran into a well-pitched game. We saw a great arm tonight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Sanchez. "... We have some guys who aren't on top of their game as far as timing. They're good hitters and they can handle good pitching. Part of this game is when you catch a team, and right now we're not swinging the bat well. That's what hurts us right now, but they'll find it."

The Ed-Wing: Encarnacion gave the Blue Jays a jolt in the top of the third inning when he hit a two-run shot off Peavy. According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's sixth homer of the year was projected to travel 375 feet and left his bat at 106 mph. The shot to left-center field was home run No. 203 for Encarnacion in a Toronto uniform. That tied him with Joe Carter for fourth place on the club's all-time list.

Encarnacion's two-run shot

"Every May for me is a [good] month," Encarnacion said. "I'll take it. ... I felt good. I've been seeing the ball good. That's where I want to be and I try to be consistent."

A little help: The Giants had gone scoreless for 14 consecutive innings before they dented the plate in Monday's sixth inning -- with a little assistance. Blue Jays left fielder Michael Saunders, apparently blinded by the ballpark lights, flinched as Brandon Belt's line drive approached. Saunders might not have had a play on the ball anyway. It fell for a double, sending Matt Duffy to third and setting up Hunter Pence's run-scoring groundout.

Belt's double in the 6th

Sanchez survives: Sanchez cruised for most of the game but after experiencing some difficulty in the sixth, there were more problems in the seventh. Trevor Brown singled and Denard Span later walked with two outs to put a pair of runners on. With right-hander Gavin Floyd ready in the bullpen, Gibbons gave Sanchez one last opportunity to get out of it and he delivered. Sanchez induced a ground ball to third off the bat of Joe Panik as Toronto escaped the inning with its 3-1 lead intact.

"During the game, I used primarily fastball-changeup," Sanchez said. "They had a lot of lefties, so that was something to kind of neutralize those guys. But I felt like I could have been better. Too many balls. It was one of those starts where I had to battle a ton."

• Floyd delivers perfect inning in setup role

Suarez looks promising: One bright spot for the Giants was the two-inning shutout stint by rookie right-hander Albert Suarez. Suarez, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his Major League debut Sunday against Colorado, has the potential to be a starter, Bochy said.

"He can throw four different pitches," Bochy said. "He's got the equipment."

"He's a hard-headed Canadian, that never hurts them Canadians. Might have knocked down an American, but not a Canadian. Right? Am I right or wrong?" -- Gibbons joking with the Canadian media after Saunders was hit in the head on a botched foul ball in the sixth inning

Saunders misplays a foul ball

Encarnacion's 34 home runs during Interleague Play since 2010 are tied with Bautista for the most in baseball.

Blue Jays: Left-hander J.A. Happ (4-0. 2.50) will take the mound when the Blue Jays continue their three-game series against the Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park. First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 p.m. ET, and Happ enters this one having surrendered three runs or fewer in all of his six starts this season.

Giants: Buster Posey, who was out of Monday's lineup to receive a rest, is expected to resume his duties behind the plate Tuesday as San Francisco continues its Interleague series against Toronto with a 7:15 p.m. PT encounter. Posey will collaborate with right-hander Matt Cain, who's winless in his last 13 starts dating back to last year.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.