Mark Buehrle and Cliff Lee were one-upping each other until the
Toronto Blue Jays' bats broke through late to turn the series opener
into a lopsided affair.
The Blue Jays erupted for three homers and nine runs in the seventh
inning and Buehrle hurled a gem in a 10-0 win over the Philadelphia
Phillies in front of a sparse crowd of 16,446.
"I think we all know what this offense can do when they get on a
roll," said Buehrle, who threw seven scoreless innings of three-hit
ball. "If they keep this up, I think our pitching will be better
than we have showed. If we can kind of get everything together and
get on a little roll, I think we will be all right."
Erik Kratz and Juan Francisco each hit two-run homers in the
seventh, while Edwin Encarnacion tripled and hit a three-run shot to
power the Blue Jays to a season-high fourth consecutive win. It
marks the first time Toronto has won four consecutive games since
reeling off 11 straight in June 2013.
The Blue Jays (17-17) sent 12 batters to the plate and recorded
eight hits in the nine-run seventh, which represents the most runs
the club has scored in an inning since August 2010.
Buehrle (6-1) lowered his ERA to a team-leading 1.91. He walked two,
struck out six and recorded his fifth quality start of the season.
"He does everything right," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of
Buehrle. "He pitches to win. Guys see that and feed off that. There
are a lot of prima donnas in this business and he's not one of
Sergio Santos and Chad Jenkins each worked a scoreless frame to help
Toronto record its sixth shutout of the season.
Buehrle came out dealing, mowing through the Phillies' lineup and
facing three over the minimum through his first five innings and
went on to throw 65 of his 100 pitches for strikes.
Marlon Byrd was the only Phillies player who could solve the
veteran, recording two of Philadelphia's three hits off Buehrle.
Byrd has reached safely in 25 of his 31 games this season and the
two-hit affair marked his 14th multi-hit contest of the year.
Since getting swept by the Blue Jays in a two-game set at Citizens
Bank Park in Philadelphia, the Phillies (15-17) have dropped three
straight contests. Philadelphia has also lost its last seven games
to the Blue Jays and five straight at Rogers Centre.
Lee (3-3) went toe-to-toe with Buehrle for much of the contest.
The left-hander retired the side in order in both the first and
second innings and allowed just one run through six innings on a
Jose Reyes sacrifice fly in the third, which gave Toronto a 1-0
lead. Lee sat down the next eight after that, including back-to-back
strikeouts to close out the fifth inning.
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But he then collapsed in the seventh.
Lee allowed five hits -- four for extra bases -- to the first six
batters he faced in the inning before getting yanked. He lasted 6
1/3 innings and was tagged for six runs on seven hits while striking
"It's tough without run support," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg
said. "He's out there feeling like he has to be perfect."
Lee's ERA ballooned from 3.00 to 3.64 after the rocky outing.
"They put some good swings on balls and they put together a huge
inning," Lee said. "They've obviously got a good offense and they
showed it there in that seventh inning."
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista has reached base in 34
consecutive games after hitting an RBI single in the seventh. It's
the longest active streak in baseball, and Bautista is four games
away from tying the club record set by Carlos Delgado in 1998.
Toronto second baseman Steve Tolleson, who went 3-for-4, was one of
three Blue Jays with a multi-hit game. Tolleson doubled in the third
and seventh and tripled in eighth, giving him three extra-base hits
on the night. All five of his hits have gone for extra bases this
NOTES: Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie (hamstring) missed his second
consecutive game and remains day-to-day. ... Toronto RHP Casey
Janssen (oblique) struck out two over an inning Wednesday in his
second rehab appearance with Double-A New Hampshire. The Blue Jays'
closer is expected to make a couple more rehab appearances before
being activated off the disabled list. ... Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins
(groin) made his first start since Sunday, batting second and
serving as the designated hitter. ... Philadelphia 1B/OF Darin Ruf
(oblique) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A
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