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Donaldson makes splash, Blue Jays bash D-backs

July 20, 2016

PHOENIX -- The heat of the desert certainly didn't sap the power from the bats of the Blue Jays as they pounded the D-backs, 10-4, on Wednesday afternoon to sweep the brief two-game series at Chase Field.The top two hitters in the Toronto lineup -- Darwin Barney and Josh Donaldson

PHOENIX -- The heat of the desert certainly didn't sap the power from the bats of the Blue Jays as they pounded the D-backs, 10-4, on Wednesday afternoon to sweep the brief two-game series at Chase Field.
The top two hitters in the Toronto lineup -- Darwin Barney and Josh Donaldson -- combined to drive in six runs, and Edwin Encarnacion chipped in two of his own with a 471-foot homer as part of a 13-hit attack.
"We did well; today and the last couple of days we really executed," Donaldson said. "We were able to get some timely hits. Pitched well, played some pretty good defense and we were able to keep the pressure on throughout the entire game."
Stroman looks noticeably improved
That was more than enough support for Marcus Stroman. Coming off one of his worst starts of the year, Stroman (8-4) scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six over eight innings.

Meanwhile D-backs starter Patrick Corbin struggled, allowing six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
"I felt pretty good," Corbin said. "I thought I threw inside pretty well today. My game plan was just trying to get ahead of guys, and I thought I did a better job."
• Corbin not seeing the results yet
Bringer of Rain: Donaldson did not have to wait very long to make his presence felt in the series finale. Barney led off with a single to center and Donaldson came through with a two-run shot over the wall in right-center field and into the pool at Chase Field. Just like that, two batters into the game, it was 2-0 Blue Jays. According to Statcast™, Donaldson's 24th home run of the season landed a projected 412 feet away and left his bat at 109 mph. Donaldson has at least one hit in 31 of his last 36 games, with 40 RBIs over that span.
"I haven't played here a whole lot, but I knew I didn't hit the ball great," Donaldson said. "But I was able to hit it on a pretty good trajectory, and it was able to carry it out of the park."
Shut down again: Just like in Tuesday night's game, the D-backs got an early run, but then could not muster much else. The D-backs went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position -- with both hits coming in the ninth -- after going 0-for-10 in the series opener.

"He settled in nicely," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Stroman. "I think we had seen on our scouting reports and the video we watched, he didn't throw many changeups in the last four or five outings, and he threw a ton today and they were very, very effective in fastball counts with good movement. He made a good adjustment going back to that pitch, which is a really good pitch for him."
Long, long gone: Encarnacion didn't need to provide any more evidence that he enjoys hitting at Chase Field, but that didn't seem to matter Wednesday afternoon. The veteran slugger's two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning was absolutely crushed. According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's 26th of the season landed a projected 471 feet away and left his bat at 112 mph. That was the longest home run Encarnacion has hit in the Statcast™ era (2015 to present), and the fourth longest hit by anyone this season. Encarnacion now has 10 home runs in 17 career games at Chase Field.

"That was the loudest ball I've ever witnessed live in a stadium by far," Stroman said. "I was under when I heard and I ran out and saw where it landed. That was pretty special. Eddie is the man. Just looking forward to keeping it going." More >
Tuffy goes deep:Tuffy Gosewisch's three-run homer in the ninth was his first since being called up three weeks ago. With one out in the ninth, Brandon Drury doubled and moved to third on a single by Yasmany Tomás before Gosewisch hit a towering fly to left that landed just over the wall in the Arizona bullpen.
Donaldson's homer was the 54th home run hit into the pool in Chase Field's history, and the first by an opponent in 2016.
Encarnacion's home run was the 223rd of his career in a Blue Jays uniform, which is tied for third place on the club's all-time list with Vernon Wells.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won his challenge in the top of the fifth inning. With a runner on first, catcher Russell Martin hit a slow grounder to shortstop. Donaldson slid into second and was initially called out, but the play was overturned after a review. It was ruled that Donaldson's foot touched the bag before second baseman Jean Segura caught the ball at second.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.93) will make his return to the Blue Jays' starting rotation when his club opens a three-game series against the Mariners. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. Estrada will be activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to this start after he missed his final outing before the break because of a sore back.
D-backs: After taking Thursday off, the D-backs open a 10-game road trip Friday night in Cincinnati at 4:10 p.m. MST. Archie Bradley, who has a 3.09 ERA in his last six starts, will get the nod vs. the Reds.
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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.