TORONTO -- Toronto's bats ambushed Cincinnati early and often on Monday night, giving the Blue Jays season-high offensive outputs across the board in their 17-2 win.When the dust settled, every Blue Jays starter outside of Kevin Pillar reached base at least twice, while the team racked up 23 hits and
TORONTO -- Toronto's bats ambushed Cincinnati early and often on Monday night, giving the Blue Jays season-high offensive outputs across the board in their 17-2 win.
When the dust settled, every Blue Jays starter outside of Kevin Pillar reached base at least twice, while the team racked up 23 hits and six walks. The 17 runs are Toronto's most in one game since July 3, 2016 while their 23 hits are the third-most in franchise history.
Troy Tulowitzki delivered the biggest blow of the game in the third with his fourth career grand slam. The blast came between a two-run shot from Russell Martin and a three-run home run from Justin Smoak as Cincinnati's starting pitching woes continued.
"We were waiting on one of those," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the blowout victory. "We had a huge night. So many guys having big, big nights … Those games are very rare at the big-league level, so enjoy them when you get them. It definitely helped out, no doubt."
Marcus Stroman gave the Blue Jays six solid innings, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out five. The right-hander pounded the zone throughout his start, walking none and forcing eight ground-ball outs.
Reds' starter Lisalverto Bonilla struggled with his control, walking five and allowing six earned runs through his 2 1/3 innings of work. Cincinnati turned to Robert Stephenson in hopes of stopping the bleeding, but the 24-year-old allowed six earned runs on 10 hits over two frames, which put the game well out of reach.
"It was obvious that Bonilla didn't have his really good stuff for command," said Reds' manager Bryan Price. "He was behind a lot, more balls than strikes and a lot of walks. When Rob came in, he was behind a lot and threw a lot of elevated strikes in those cripple counts, and they weren't messing with them today. They were right on the screws."
While pitching fewer innings than any team at 248 2/3, Cincinnati's starters have the highest ERA in baseball and lead the league in home runs allowed with 55.
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Tulowitzki breaks it open: The Blue Jays put Bonilla on the ropes in the third inning, forcing him out of the game with the bases loaded and none out. Tulowitzki wasted no time getting to Stephenson, however, turning on a 95.3 mph fastball and launching a grand slam to left field to put the Blue Jays up, 7-1.
"It's definitely nice," Tulowitzki said. "Obviously it's a good feeling for the team. Earlier someone said it was third-most in [franchise] history, that's pretty cool. But it's even better just to get another win."
Blue Jays hit double digits: After Tulowitzki's grand slam jolted the Blue Jays, Smoak put the game even further out of reach with a three-run blast off Stephenson over the right-field wall in the bottom of the fourth. Smoak's homer brought home Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales, who doubled and walked in the two prior at-bats. The low line drive left his bat at 107.5 mph, extending Smoak's team leads in home runs with 12 and RBIs with 34.
"It could have been worse. Their third-base coach was compassionate enough to not keep wheeling guys in to score." -- Price, on the score getting out of hand
"I just feel bad for Happ, you know. He has to pitch tomorrow. I hope they didn't waste it all." -- Gibbons, on Toronto scoring 17 runs before lefty J.A. Happ returns from the DL for Tuesday's game.
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The 41-degree launch angle on Martin's home run was the highest of any Blue Jays homer in 2017 and Martin's highest of the Statcast™ Era. Of the 1,808 home runs in Major League Baseball entering play on Monday, only 31 (1.7%) were hit with a launch angle over 40 degrees.
Devon Travis' double in the fifth inning was his 16th of the month, the most by a Blue Jays player in May in franchise history. Travis finished with four hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
Toronto's 23 hits were the most by a Cincinnati opponent since 1985, when the Reds allowed 25 hits against Atlanta at Riverfront Stadium.
Reds: Asher Wojciechowski (1-0, 2.25 ERA) will start against the team that originally drafted him on Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. ET, making his first start for Cincinnati. After making five successful starts at the Triple-A level, Wojciechowski has come out of the bullpen twice for the Reds since being called up.
Blue Jays: Happ will make his return from the 10-day disabled list for this start against Cincinnati. Happ has been out since April 16 because of inflammation in his left elbow. He will be working on a very limited pitch count, which is expected to be in the range of 75.
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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.
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.