Encarnacion leads Toronto in rout of Rangers
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam and a solo shot and Russell Martin and Danny Valencia added solo homers as the Blue Jays walked all over right-hander Nick Martinez in a 12-2 victory over the Rangers on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
Toronto scored four runs in the first, two in the second and added another run in the third to take control early in the game. Kevin Pillar and Chris Colabello doubled while Josh Donaldson went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Every member of the Blue Jays' starting lineup reached base and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was the only one who didn't score a run.
Martinez allowed nine runs -- eight earned -- on nine hits and four walks over six innings of work. Left-hander Mark Buehrle was much better for the Blue Jays despite allowing a first-inning homer to Rangers slugger Prince Fielder. Buehrle surrendered two runs over seven strong innings en route to his fifth consecutive quality start.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Four-for-Four: The Blue Jays' offense got off to a perfect start when their first three batters of the game reached base and Encarnacion brought them all home with a grand slam to right-center field. It was the seventh grand slam of Encarnacion's career and the second by a Blue Jays player this season. According to Statcast™, the ball was projected to land 396 feet from the plate and it left his bat at 103 mph. Encarnacion has three home runs in his past three games and four during June.
"Very exciting moment for me and for the team to have a four-run lead in the first inning. That's the best thing we can have," Encarnacion said.
The Daily Double: Encarnacion added a solo shot in the seventh inning to mark the 20th multi-homer game of his career. It also gave the Blue Jays their 10th run of the game, which was the fourth time this month and the 13th time of the season they reached double digits in scoring. Toronto entered Friday's game averaging 5.47 runs per game, which was the most in the Major Leagues. The Yankees were a distant second at 4.79 runs per game.
"We're going to get shut down every once in a while, but at the same time, we can score five or six runs every inning," Buehrle said. "One through nine, we're pretty deep right now. It's fun." More >
Club 300 for the Prince: Fielder wasted no time knocking his milestone homer, going deep in the first inning to spot the Rangers an early, yet short-lived, lead. In reaching 300, he and his father Cecil (319) became the second father-son duo in Major League history to stroke 300-plus homers. Barry and Bobby Bonds are the only other tandem to complete the feat.
"It's of big significance," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. "For him individually and for us as a team to be able to celebrate that with him. Nice recognition for him. With the 300th, it's a terrific milestone." More >
Rosales ninth position player to pitch: Adam Rosales got the ball in the bottom of the eighth for the Rangers, becoming the club's ninth-ever position player to pitch. After retiring Donaldson, the right-hander gave up a homer on the first pitch he threw to Valencia, but the game was already far out of reach by that point. The last position player to pitch for Texas was JP Arencibia, who did it in August 2014 against the Rays. More >
"I was joking around with these guys and telling them I've never lost with 10-plus runs scored for me. So every time we get to like seven or eight I say, 'Hey, I've never lost with 10, so score a couple of more'" -- Buehrle, on the run support he has received this year
"I just threw all straight pitches. I didn't try to put anything on them. I tried one in warmup, but that wasn't gonna happen. I don't have the control to get offspeed" -- Rosales, on taking the mound in the eighth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The last time the Blue Jays scored four runs after four batters to start the game was July 8, 2012. The last Toronto player to hit a grand slam in the first inning was second baseman Aaron Hill on May 29, 2011, against the White Sox.
The Rangers were successful in overturning a Jose Reyes single in the bottom of the second. Reyes slapped a grounder toward first that bounced off the glove of Mitch Moreland and rolled to second baseman Rougned Odor, who made the play to first to get the Blue Jays' leadoff man.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo makes his 16th start of the season Saturday at 12:07 p.m. CT. The right-hander is 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA. He's faced the Blue Jays once in his career, earning the victory on June 20, 2012, with a 6 2/3-innings performance. Gallardo hasn't allowed a run in 15 innings.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Matt Boyd will make his Major League debut when the Blue Jays host the Rangers on Saturday afternoon at 1:07 p.m. ET. Boyd went 7-2 with a 1.26 ERA in 14 combined starts between Buffalo and Double-A New Hampshire this year. More >
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