Homers, late hits enhance Eickhoff's outing

Homers, late hits enhance Eickhoff's outing

TORONTO -- Ryan Howard and Odubel Herrera each homered while Jerad Eickhoff tossed six scoreless innings in the Phillies' 7-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

Herrera finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored in his third multi-hit game of the month. Howard went deep in his first start since June 8, and he now has two home runs over his last three games.

"He's fun to watch," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Herrera. "You just never know. He can look so bad for two pitches and then hit a home run; he can look so bad for two at-bats, and then all of a sudden, come through with a big hit off a lefty. He's amazing."

Howard's solo home run

Eickhoff tamed a Blue Jays lineup that came into this game red-hot. Toronto scored 30 runs over a recent four-game series against the Orioles, but it managed to put just two runners in scoring position when Eickhoff was on the mound. The 25-year-old scattered three hits and four walks while striking out five.

Eickhoff's slider key in keeping Blue Jays scoreless

"We have a game plan," Eickhoff said about shutting down the Blue Jays. "We kind of deviate from that or change from that as the game progresses or how I'm feeling. Especially having that fastball command, it wasn't the best that I've had, but it was enough to keep them off balance and throwing that slider was huge in those fastball counts."

Eickhoff's six scoreless innings

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was charged with the loss despite a strong night on the mound. He surrendered the two solo shots and left with one out and a man on base in the seventh inning. When Dickey departed the game it was 2-0, but the Phillies tacked on five more runs to snap their four-game losing streak.

"It's a tough place to pitch for anybody," said Dickey, who dropped to 0-5 at home. "Both Howard's ball and Herrera were wall-scrapers here, and you usually don't lose when you give up solo home runs. I was OK with that. The pitch to Herrera was a poor pitch, the one to Howard not so much. He hit it off the end and it top-spinned over the wall."

Dickey's fourth strikeout

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tacking on three: The Phillies opened up a 4-0 lead in the top of the seventh after stringing together three hits and adding three runs. Howard led off the seventh inning with a solo shot, Peter Bourjos added a two-out RBI double and Herrera brought home his second run of the game with a single. Howard, who recently lost his first-base job to Tommy Joseph, started at designated hitter on Monday and hit just his second home run since May 11.

Bourjos' second RBI

Trouble with the RISP: The Blue Jays' opportunities to score were few and far between vs. Eickhoff, but the club did manage to put a pair of baserunners on in the fifth. Devon Travis led off the frame with a single and, two batters later, Josh Donaldson added a single of his own to put runners on first and second with two outs. Eickhoff then struck out Michael Saunders to end the threat, which marked only the second at-bat Toronto had with runners in scoring position.

"Their kid was good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Over the last couple of years, we've faced some right-handers with good breaking balls and can pitch a little bit. They've been known to give us some trouble because we're so right-handed dominant."

Dickey, Blue Jays lament lack of energy

Herrera hammer: Herrera gave the Phillies an early 1-0 lead with his sixth home run of the season in the top of the third inning. Herrera took a 2-1 knuckleball from Dickey and sent it just over the right-field wall. According to Statcast™, Herrera's blast left the yard at 109 mph while traveling a projected 345 feet.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Donaldson extended his on-base streak to 18 games with a walk in the third inning. He has drawn at least one walk in eight of his last 11 games and his 41 walks rank third in the American League.

Tuesday's 7-0 victory was the Phillies' first shutout against an American League opponent since blanking Oakland, 3-0, on Sept. 20, 2014.

UNDER REVIEW
Gibbons lost his challenge in the bottom of the eighth inning. Toronto had runners on first and second with nobody out when Kevin Pillar hit a grounder to third. Philadelphia's Andres Blanco stepped on third for the first out, and then threw across the diamond for a double play. Pillar felt he beat the throw to first and the Blue Jays decided to challenge, but following a review of one minute and 19 seconds, it was ruled that the call on the field stands.

Phils turn two

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: Right-hander Zach Eflin is slated to make his Major League debut in Tuesday's matinee against the Blue Jays, with first pitch set to fly at 12:37 p.m. ET. Eflin went 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and will become the fourth-youngest pitcher to start for the Phillies since 2000.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (5-2, 4.94 ERA) will look to make his struggles a thing of the past when he takes the mound Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Stroman has allowed 25 earned runs over his last five starts and has just one win since May 1. This will be his third career appearance against Philadelphia, but his first start.

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

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Monday.

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