First baseman Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in both the
third and ninth innings, sparking Toronto to a historic 14-9 victory
over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series at
Great American Ball Park.
"What a ballgame," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Those
things are some kind of rare. We're down 8-0 and I'm thinking how
we're going to get through this with the pitching. Then we just
exploded. You may never see another one like that. We hope it leads
Catcher Devin Mesoraco and right fielder Jay Bruce homered for
Cincinnati (35-37) which blew an eight-run lead for the first time
"Fortunately, it's only one loss," said Reds manager Bryan Price.
"It's an ugly type of loss. It's the type of loss that affects
everybody. They did a good job. We didn't extend the lead. We got
just the one run after the second. We didn't create the separation
that we needed to win the game. We've got to get over it and come
back with a counterpunch tomorrow."
Dustin McGowan (4-2) earned the victory. Aroldis Chapman (0-2) took
A trio of former Reds factored heavily in Toronto's comeback.
Encarnacion, who spent his first five big-league seasons in
Cincinnati, had his sixth multi-home run game this season, Juan
Francisco hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the seventh and
catcher Dioner Navarro had a RBI double in the eighth to tie the
Third baseman Brett Lawrie added a solo home run in the seventh.
Lawrie's solo home run off rookie right-hander Jumbo Diaz, who was
making his major league debut, made the score 9-6 in the seventh.
Diaz also gave up Francisco's two-out, two-run home run on a 2-2
pitch just inside the left field foul pole, making the score 9-8.
Toronto capped the comeback with a five-run ninth inning,
highlighted by Encarnacion's 422-foot, three-run bomb off Sam
Reds starter Mat Latos, making his second appearance since coming
off the disabled list, allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 2/3
"I couldn't find the release point on my off-speed stuff," said
Latos. "Then frustration got the best of me. I couldn't find it on
my fastball either. I don't like taxing the bullpen. I'm extremely
disappointed in myself."
After escaping a first-inning jam when second baseman Brandon
Phillips grounded into an inning-ending double play, Blue Jays
starter Liam Hendriks wouldn't make it through the second.
Four straight hits sparked an eight-run frame for Cincinnati
beginning with Mesoraco's 11th home run, a two-run shot to left that
put the Reds ahead 2-0.
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Left fielder Skip Schumaker scored from third on Latos' groundout to
make the score 3-0, followed by center fielder Billy Hamilton's RBI
double driving in the fourth run.
Hendriks, who allowed six earned runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings,
was a spectator for the Blue Jays' offensive surge.
"I came in the clubhouse to gather my thoughts," Hendriks said.
"Then I came back out and we just started scoring. You can't count
out this offense."
Phillips' bloop two-run single and Bruce's two-run home run off Todd
Redmond made the score 8-0, a seemingly insurmountable deficit for
Toronto, which had scored three runs or fewer in nine of its
previous 13 games.
But Encarnacion made the score 8-3 in the third with his 22nd home
run, a three-run shot to left. And, the rally was on.
"It got everyone feeling that we could come back," said Encarnacion
of his first homer. "We got emotional. It's a great feeling. I
played here for five years. It's great to come back here and play
NOTES: The Reds relinquished an eight-run lead for the first time
since May 20, 2010, when they lost 10-9 at Atlanta. ... It was the
largest comeback for the Blue Jays since June 4, 1989 when they
rallied from a 10-0 deficit to win 13-11 in 12 innings. ...
Cincinnati scored eight runs in an inning for the first time since
April 21, 2013 in the seventh against Miami. ... The Reds selected
from Triple-A Louisville the contract of RHP Jumbo Diaz and optioned
LHP Tony Cingrani to Triple-A. ... Reds RHP Brett Marshall, who has
been on the disabled list since March 30 with a strained tendon in
his middle finger, was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to
Triple-A. ... Reds LHP Sean Marshall will have surgery on Tuesday to
debride his left shoulder. ... Blue Jay RHP Liam Hendriks was
recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday, and RHP Steve Delebar was
optioned to Triple-A.
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