Pillar, Encarnacion help Blue Jays rout Phillies
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[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
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
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
"I don't think I needed to," Mackanin said. "He knows. He better
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
Travis led off the inning with his second homer of the season,
Martin added an RBI double and Pillar capped the outburst with his
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.
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