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Five home runs lift Blue Jays over Phillies

June 16, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- The Blue Jays' offense proved to be too powerful for the Phillies to handle this week.They bashed five home runs in a 13-2 victory Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. They outscored the Phillies, 31-7, in the last three days. But Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ did his

PHILADELPHIA -- The Blue Jays' offense proved to be too powerful for the Phillies to handle this week.
They bashed five home runs in a 13-2 victory Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. They outscored the Phillies, 31-7, in the last three days. But Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ did his job Thursday, too. He allowed just three hits and one unearned run in seven innings as Toronto improved to 19-8 since May 18.
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola suffered the shortest start of his career, allowing eight runs in three-plus innings. Odubel Herrera capped an ugly night when he threw a ball into the stands with two outs in the eighth inning, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to advance from first to third. More >

"Oh man, that was an outburst," Happ said of his club's offensive performance. "It was fun to watch in our dugout. It was a good time. Hopefully we can carry some of that momentum into a big series in Baltimore."
Eddie's on fire: Encarnacion didn't waste any time making his presence felt as his recent hot streak continued in the first inning with a two-run shot to left. According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's 18th of the year was projected to travel 424 feet and left his bat at 105 mph. It was the sixth home run in 17 at-bats for Encarnacion and since May 1 he has 15, which leads the Major Leagues. Michael Saunders followed with a solo shot to right field as the Blue Jays went back-to-back for the fifth time this season and took an early 3-0 lead.
"I just try to go game by game and continue to try to do the best I can do to help this team win games," Encarnacion said. More >

Nola hit hard again: Nola would love to forget his last two starts. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings Saturday against the Nationals and just three-plus innings against the Blue Jays. Nola's ERA jumped from 2.65 to 3.51 in that span.
"I mean, it's tough for the team when I can't get out of the fourth inning," Nola said. "It's unacceptable for my part. I felt like it's a letdown for the team. It's unacceptable for me to go that short in a game. My job is to go deep in a game and save the bullpen and keep the game as close as I can."

Putting it away: Toronto sent all nine batters to the plate in a four-run fourth inning to break the game wide open. Ryan Goins got things started with a leadoff double and he advanced to third when Happ laid down a sacrifice bunt on a play where catcher Cameron Rupp was charged with an error. Jose Bautista added an RBI single, Encarnacion came through with a two-run single and Russell Martin brought in another run when left fielder Tyler Goeddel was charged with the error.
"The offense really had a big, big night," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We're playing really good baseball right now. We did a lot of things. Big home runs, it's a good home run hitting park. We did a lot of good things."
The daily double:Kevin Pillar hit a solo shot in the seventh inning but he wasn't done there. He received another at-bat in the eighth and once again went deep to left. According to Statcast™, Pillar's seventh of the season was projected to travel 388 feet and left his bat at 106 mph. It was the second multi-homer game of Pillar's career and his first since June 2, 2015, against Max Scherzer and the Nationals.
"It's refreshing," Pillar said of the lopsided score. "It keeps our bullpen fresh, it allows our starter to pitch some stress-free innings. J.A. did a great job and when you get off to an early lead like that tonight it's about not throwing away at-bats. Build on a good day, if you don't have a hit, try to go out and get one … It's a rare time in this game when you can be selfish and play for yourself. It's nice, you're able to go out there, relax on defense and breath a little bit. Those tight games wear on you."

"There's a choice to be made. You either cave in or you fight your way back out. I don't want to see guys pouting or feeling sorry for themselves. If you want to prove you belong here you've got to fight." - Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who called a team meeting after the game.
Encarnacion has at least one RBI in seven consecutive games. He also has now homered in five consecutive games at Citizens Bank Park dating back to 2014.
With a single in the first inning, Toronto's Josh Donaldson has reached base safely in 21 consecutive games.
The Phillies challenged Pillar's slide into second base in the third inning, which broke up a double play and allowed a run to score. The replay official determined Pillar failed to engage in a bona-fide slide. Additionally, Pillar's actions hindered and impeded the fielder.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (6-1, 3.38) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the Orioles on Friday night at Camden Yards. Sanchez faced Baltimore during his last start as well and allowed six runs over five innings. Four of the 10 hits he allowed were sent over the wall.
Phillies: The Phillies open a four-game series Friday night against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park. Left-hander Adam Morgan (1-5, 6.33 ERA) pitches the series opener. He has pitched a bit better in his last two starts, allowing six earned runs in 12 2/3 innings.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011.