TORONTO -- Curtis Granderson has been around the Major Leagues for 15 years, but apparently it's never too late for a career first.Granderson set a new career high with six RBIs as part of a 4-for-5 day in which he fell a triple shy of the cycle in Toronto's 13-3
TORONTO -- Curtis Granderson has been around the Major Leagues for 15 years, but apparently it's never too late for a career first.
Granderson set a new career high with six RBIs as part of a 4-for-5 day in which he fell a triple shy of the cycle in Toronto's 13-3 victory over the Orioles on Sunday at Rogers Centre. The veteran outfielder finished with a three-run homer, two run-scoring doubles and a walk in what will easily be considered his best game since joining the Blue Jays as a free agent during the offseason.
Toronto also received home runs from Teoscar Hernandez, Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar in the lopsided victory. Every member of the Blue Jays' starting lineup reached base at least once and seven players had multiple hits, while the 13 runs were two shy of the club's highest total this season as the Blue Jays set a new season high with four homers in the same game.
"A huge day," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after his team matched its season high with a four-game winning streak. "Grandy had been scuffling a little bit, there's no doubt. A couple of days ago I was sitting next to [bench coach] DeMarlo Hale, I said, 'You know what we need? Somebody, one guy, to just have a big game. A monster-type game.' You see that every now and then, it carries you a little bit. That's what he did today. Set the tone."
Granderson previously had five RBIs in a game seven times. He last accomplished the feat on April 22, 2016, as part of a two-homer game against Atlanta when Granderson was still with the Mets. This was Granderson's eighth multi-hit game of the season for Toronto and his first since May 27 at Philadelphia. The four hits were a season high, surpassing the three he had vs. Boston on April 24.
"It's pretty cool to be able to do that and obviously help the team win," Granderson said. "The cool thing about this game is, every time you step on that field, something could happen that's never happened before and sure enough that ended up happening today for me."
The Blue Jays finished the Orioles series with 56 hits, which is tied for the second-most in franchise history for a four-game set. Toronto had at least 12 hits in each of the four contests, but the series finale was the only game in which the Blue Jays scored more than five runs. The offensive outburst secured the club's second series sweep of three or more games this season and the first since a three-game set vs. Kansas City from April 17-18.
Toronto did almost all of its damage against Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb, who was charged with nine runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out five over 3 2/3 innings. Cobb's latest setback saw his ERA rise to 7.23, 11 starts into a four-year deal worth $57 million that he signed this spring. The nine earned runs matched Cobb's career high, which was set on June 13, 2017, vs. the Mariners.
Right-hander Marco Estrada picked up the easy victory for the Blue Jays as he continued Toronto's recent string of success in the rotation. Estrada allowed two runs while scattering four hits and a walk while striking out nine over six-plus innings. Toronto starters have now tossed seven consecutive quality starts and they have not allowed more than two earned runs in any of those outings. Opponents are batting .173 (27-for-156) against them over that stretch.
"Oh man, I'm going to have to knock on wood now," Estrada said when informed of the recent run. "We're pitching great. We're pitching the way we're supposed to be. We have a really good rotation and it's showing as of late. It's unfortunate that we've had some ups and downs as the season has gone on, but we're starting to find our groove right now and everybody seems to be putting it together."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Blowing it open: Granderson homered and the Blue Jays sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run fourth inning that ended Cobb's afternoon. Randal Grichuk had a pair of singles in the inning while Gio Urshela, Yangervis Solarte, Hernandez, Pillar and Russell Martin also reached base. Granderson's sixth home run of the year -- and second of the series -- was a three-run shot to right that was projected to travel approximately 383 feet. It was the fourth time the Blue Jays scored at least six runs in an inning this season and the first since April 18 vs. Kansas City. Toronto's season high for one inning is seven runs.
• The most hits for a four-game set by Toronto was April 17-20, 2000, when the Blue Jays had 58.
• The Blue Jays also picked up their first four-game sweep since July 24-27, 2017, against the A's.
The Blue Jays will open a three-game series on the road when right-hander Sam Gaviglio takes the mound on Monday night vs. the Rays, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. Gaviglio continues to be a pleasant surprise in Toronto's rotation, giving up three runs or fewer in three of his four starts. One key for Gaviglio is that he's allowed just seven walks over 28 2/3 innings pitched this season. Josh Donaldson remains questionable for the game with a sore left calf. Ryan Yarbrough will start for the Rays.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.