Davis, Encarnacion pace Blue Jays in win vs. Yanks

Davis, Encarnacion pace Blue Jays in win vs. Yanks

Davis, Encarnacion pace Blue Jays in win vs. Yanks
TORONTO -- It was a long time coming, but the Blue Jays' offense finally showed some signs of life on Sunday afternoon.

Toronto broke out of its prolonged slump at the plate by erupting for six runs in the fourth and another three in the fifth en route to its most productive day this month.

Rajai Davis drove in a career-high five runs while Edwin Encarnacion reached the 30-home run plateau for the first time in his career to send the Blue Jays to a much-needed 10-7 victory over the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

"Finally a good offensive day," said relieved Blue Jays manager John Farrell. "The fourth and fifth innings we were able to finally create some separation on the offensive side ... What our guys did, one through five in the batting order, was outstanding."

Toronto entered the game having lost five straight and 11 of its past 13 overall while averaging just 2.38 runs over that span. That prompted Farrell to hold a team meeting prior to the series finale against New York, and while he declined to disclose the topics of conversation, whatever was talked about appeared to work.

Davis led the way with a pair of doubles to account for his five RBIs, while Encarnacion saw his career season continue with three hits, two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. He now has 33 multihit games this season, and has reached base in all but five of his games dating back to June 16.

Rookie outfielder Moises Sierra also got in on the action with three hits of is own, while first baseman David Cooper was the fourth Blue Jays player to enjoy a multihit game at the plate. In total, the first five hitters combined to go 11-for-24 at the plate, with four extra-base hits and nine RBIs.

It was an all-around effort and one that could go a long way to relieving some of the stress from the rookies who have stepped in to fill the void left by the long list of injured players: Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia, Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus and Yunel Escobar.

"I think it especially seems like some of the younger guys are starting to gain even more confidence at the plate, and starting to swing the bat a little more aggressive and make solid contact," said Davis. "I think that's a good sign, and I think we can only progress from there."

Davis also made a spectacular catch, robbing Casey McGehee of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in left field during the seventh inning.

"It's something that [hitting coach Dwayne Murphy] and I talked about earlier in the year. We talked about planting the leg, getting up over the wall. But it takes a perfect ball to be able to time that right, and then the ball coming down, it takes perfect timing. I think we were able to establish that."

"That was a heck of a catch," McGehee said. "I was happy with the swing I took, happy with everything, sometimes you got to tip your hat. The guy made one heck of a play."

Toronto entered play with seven of its starting nine having a total of 416 at-bats this season. But the club still managed to score as many runs in eight innings as it had in its previous five games combined. It also marked the most runs scored in a game since the Blue Jays defeated the A's on July 26, and was the 10th time this year they've reached double digits.

The vast majority of the damage came against New York starter Phil Hughes, who was charged with seven runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking one over four innings. It was the most runs Hughes has given up since May 28, and it marked the fourth time this season he gave up at least six.

"I personally gave that game away early, it's tough to live with," said Hughes, whose ERA rose to 4.44. "It just comes down to a command thing, and I have to be better."

The explosion of offense made an easy winner out of left-hander J.A. Happ, who was making just his second start in a Blue Jays uniform. Happ allowed the first batter he faced to reach base but then proceeded to retire 12 in a row.

Happ's first sign of trouble didn't occur until the fifth inning, as McGehee had an RBI double over the head of Anthony Gose in center field to score Andruw Jones. Happ then began to tire in the sixth as Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano both homered en route to a three-run frame for New York.

The 29-year-old Happ was charged with four runs on six hits while striking out two over 5 2/3 innings. New York later cut the lead to three by scoring an additional three runs off reliever Brad Lincoln, but that was as close as they would get.

"I felt fine, you just can't make mistakes in the zone, in the top of the zone, to good hitters like that," said Happ, who threw 56 of his 88 pitches for strikes. "The one to Cano really hurt. Frustrating because I felt like I was making good pitches the whole game, and then left a few up and got hurt with it.

With the victory, the Blue Jays managed to avoid being swept at home by the Yankees for the first time since March 31-April 2, 2003. They are set to begin a four-game series against the White Sox on Monday as their 10-game homestand continues.

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