Pillar, Encarnacion help Blue Jays rout Phillies

Send a link to a friend  Share

[June 17, 2016]  PHILADELPHIA -- Edwin Encarnacion has been leading the offensive parade all season for the Toronto Blue Jays. On Thursday night, Kevin Pillar fell in step.

Pillar hit two home runs and Encarnacion homered and drove in four runs as the Blue Jays battered the Philadelphia Phillies 13-2.

Michael Saunders and Devon Travis also homered for the Jays, whose five home runs were a season high, as were their 13 runs and 17 hits.

Josh Donaldson went 3-for-3, reached base five times and scored three runs for Toronto, which outscored the Phillies 31-7 in winning the last three contests of a four-game home-and-home series.

The Blue Jays also won for the sixth time in seven games, and improved to 19-8 in their last 27.

"We've got some of the best hitters in the world on this team," said Pillar, who had the second multi-homer game of his career. "It's fun for me to say I'm a part of it and contribute."

Pillar, whose other multi-homer game came on June 2, 2015 against Washington, hit a leadoff shot off reliever Andrew Bailey in the seventh and a two-run blast off David Hernandez in the eighth, increasing his season total to seven.

"He's a dangerous hitter," manager John Gibbons said. "He's not ever going to be a highly disciplined hitter, but the more (at-bats) he gets ... he's liable to do that a lot more times."

Encarnacion went 2-for-4 in the game, hitting a two-run homer off Phillies starter Aaron Nola in the first inning and adding a two-run single off reliever Colton Murray in the fourth.

The homer was Encarnacion's sixth in as many games, his 18th of the season and his 12th in 20 career contests at Citizens Bank Park. He also increased his major league-leading RBI total to 61.

"Really every year he goes through one of these," Gibbons said. "And he's dangerous. If you give him anything to hit, there's nobody better."

Former Phillie J.A. Happ (8-3) went seven innings to earn the victory, allowing an unearned run and three hits while striking out five and walking two. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his career against his former team.

The Phillies, who managed five hits and committed four errors, lost for the 20th time in their last 26 games to fall a season-worst seven games under .500, at 30-37. Afterward manager Pete Mackanin convened a team meeting.

"I didn't like what I saw today," he said. "We've gone from seven over (at 24-17, on May 18) to seven under in about a two-week span, and what we did the first two months, I don't want to let that get away from us."

One of the errors came in the eighth inning when Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera caught Saunders' fly ball and flipped the ball into the stands, thinking it was the third out. In actuality it was the second, and Encarnacion, who was on first, was allowed to advance to third.

"Obviously nobody liked to see that," Mackanin said. "There's a few things I've been thinking about, that I wanted to have a meeting and mention them. Today was the culmination of those thoughts."

He said he didn't discuss that play with Herrera, during the game or afterward.

"I don't think I needed to," Mackanin said. "He knows. He better know."

Nola (5-6) lasted three innings, the shortest outing of his career. Nola, whose 3 2/3-inning appearance against Washington in his previous start had been his briefest, allowed eight runs (six earned) and eight hits while striking out five and walking three.

[to top of second column]

Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (center) celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

"They're a good lineup, but when you get behind in the count to a lot of guys, they're an even better lineup," he said. "Pretty much the key to the game for me was to not get strike one."

Encarnacion hit Nola's 1-1 curveball into the seats in left field for his two-run homer in the first, and Saunders followed with his 12th homer of the season. It was the fifth time this year the Jays have hit back-to-back home runs. Encarnacion and Saunders did it five days earlier against Baltimore.

Russell Martin made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the third and Toronto chased Nola by scoring four times in the fourth.

Encarnacion's two-run single was the inning's key blow. Jose Bautista also brought in a run with a single and another came home when Phillies left fielder Tyler Goeddel dropped Martin's fly ball.

Pillar's leadoff homer in the seventh made it 9-0.

After Jimmy Paredes drove in a Phillies run with a seventh-inning grounder, the Jays tacked on four runs in the eighth against Hernandez.

Travis led off the inning with his second homer of the season, Martin added an RBI double and Pillar capped the outburst with his two-run blast.

Herrera's RBI single in the eighth made it 13-2.

NOTES: Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista left the game in the seventh inning with a sore left big toe. He is scheduled to undergo precautionary X-rays, but is listed as day-to-day. ... Philadelphia RHP Alec Asher, who is on the disabled list at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug agreement after a positive test for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid used to increase speed and strength. It is the same substance that resulted in an 80-game suspension for Phillies LHP Daniel Stumpf in April. ... Toronto LF Michael Saunders returned to the starting lineup. He was removed from Tuesday's victory over Philadelphia with a sore thigh and then introduced as a pinch hitter in Wednesday's game against the Phillies but was removed in favor of INF Andy Burns. ... After the game Philadelphia optioned RHP Colton Murray to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A corresponding roster move will be announced Friday.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to top