TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are starting to make the late-inning rally part of their regular routine.Toronto rallied late for the third consecutive day to a steal a victory from the opposition. The latest heroics took place on Monday night when Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the seventh
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are starting to make the late-inning rally part of their regular routine.
Toronto rallied late for the third consecutive day to a steal a victory from the opposition. The latest heroics took place on Monday night when Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the seventh to put the Blue Jays ahead of the White Sox in an eventual 4-2 win.
The Blue Jays scored 10 of their 15 runs during the recent four-game series against the Yankees in the seventh inning or later. On Saturday and Sunday at Rogers Centre, it was the eighth inning that provided all of the drama, but on Monday night the comeback started a little bit earlier.
"I think it's a combination of our pitching and our defense," Martin said of the dramatic wins. "Our starters and our bullpen have been awesome, and we're making plays behind them too so that definitely helps. When your bullpen is keeping you in the game, not giving up any runs, it allows you to make a comeback, and that's what we've been doing."
Toronto was trailing, 2-1, entering the bottom of the seventh until Curtis Granderson walked and Martin later followed with a two-run shot. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz added a solo home run in the eighth inning as the Blue Jays have scored all but five of their 19 runs this season after the seventh inning.
Martin's first home run of the year came off right-hander Danny Farquhar, who took the loss after being charged with one of the two runs in the seventh. That spoiled an otherwise stellar effort from White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, who carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed just one run while striking out six over six frames.
Left-hander Jaime Garcia was forced to settle for a no-decision in his Blue Jays debut after allowing one run on four hits in six innings. The win went to reliever Seunghwan Oh, who surrendered a go-ahead homer to Welington Castillo in the top of the seventh before Toronto rallied for two more on the Martin homer.
"I think that's going to be our formula, in order for us to have success," said Josh Donaldson, who chipped in with his first home run of the season. "Do I feel like we can get ahead and hold onto leads? Sure, but I think … putting up zeros gives our side time to catch up if we are down."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Oh's first miscue: Oh had a pair of scoreless appearances under his belt until he stepped onto the mound for the seventh inning of Monday night's game. The veteran reliever was greeted by Castillo, who connected on his second home run of the game. That momentarily put Chicago in front 2-1, but Martin and the Blue Jays rallied in the bottom half to steal away the game. Dennis Tepera and Roberto Osuna closed out the game with a pair of scoreless frames, and despite Oh's minor hiccup the bullpen continues to be an early strength for this team.
"Roberto has been doing it for awhile now and Tepera, last year was a breakthrough year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He has a great arm and has really turned into one of the better relievers in baseball."
Donaldson takes offense: Donaldson tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo shot to right field. As he crossed the plate, Donaldson covered his mouth and appeared to blow into his hand several times while staring daggers into the Chicago dugout.
The antics likely were a shot at the White Sox coaching staff. Chicago first-base coach Daryl Boston blows a whistle every time one of his players makes a good defensive play. Earlier in the game, the whistle was used after Donaldson grounded out to third base and at the time he appeared to take issue with it.
"They have a particular coach over there who likes to blow an actual whistle when their team makes a good play or something like that," Donaldson said. "I was talking to a couple of my former coaches I had in the Minor Leagues before the game. I guess he seems to think it's appropriate so I thought it would be appropriate if I blew it back at them when they didn't make a play."
"I was informed that he was not particularly thrilled about the whistle, and he showed me that he was not." -- Boston
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays have homered in each of their first five games of the season (eight total) for the first time since 2011.
Left-hander J.A. Happ will make his second start of the season when the Blue Jays host the White Sox on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET. Donaldson is expected to return to third base after previously being limited to DH duties because of a dead arm.
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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.