Thursday, May 08, 2014
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Buehrle, Blue Jays Bats Bomb Phillies 10-0

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[May 08, 2014]  TORONTO -- A pitchers' duel at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night quickly turned into a rout.

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 them."

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 out six.

"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 season.

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 Clearwater.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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