TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam and Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion added a pair of two-run shots as the Blue Jays scored early and often against rookie Zach Eflin in an 11-3 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre.Donaldson went 3-for-4 with five RBIs
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam and Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion added a pair of two-run shots as the Blue Jays scored early and often against rookie Zach Eflin in an 11-3 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Donaldson went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored. It was his second five-RBI game of the season and the fourth of his career as the reigning American League MVP Award winner also extended his on-base streak to 19 consecutive games.
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"We watched a little bit of film on him," Donaldson said of Eflin. "I was paying very close attention to Jose [Bautista's] at-bat, and it looked like he wanted to throw his heater early on. In my first at-bat, he threw me a fastball that I could hit, and I was able to hit it pretty well to right field. That kind of started me on the right track. I was able to get some pitches to hit, and I was able to take advantage of it."
Kevin Pillar also enjoyed a three-hit game with a homer and a pair of runs scored. Carrera went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. The offensive outburst came less than 24 hours after Toronto was shut out by Philadelphia, but the club has now scored at least 10 runs in three of its past four games.
Eflin was making his Major League debut, but it did not go as planned. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and three walks while striking out two. Eflin became the first rookie Phillies pitcher to allow eight earned runs or more in a start since Gavin Floyd on April 19, 2005.
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"You've got to forget about it," Eflin said about his first Major League start. "Obviously, I'll remember it for the rest of my life, but from a pitching standpoint, I've got to bounce back. I've got to throw quality strikes and get ahead of the hitters."
Right-hander Marcus Stroman picked up the victory for Toronto. He entered Tuesday having allowed 25 runs over his previous 29 2/3 innings, but Stroman was much better in this one. Stroman scattered six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over seven strong innings. The one big blow was a solo home run by Cesar Hernandez in the seventh.
"I felt a lot better out there," Stroman said. "I think the work that we've been putting in between the last few starts is starting to take shape. Not exactly where I want to be, but definitely made strides and looking forward to the next one."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bringer of the slam: Toronto had a commanding five-run lead in the third when Donaldson officially put the game out of reach with a grand slam to left. It was his second grand slam of the season and the third of his career. According to Statcast™, Donaldson's 15th home run of the season was projected to travel 419 feet and left his bat at 108 mph. That wasn't the only hard contact that Donaldson made on Tuesday afternoon: He also hit a pair of doubles which left his bat at 101 mph and 109 mph, respectively.
"I was looking for a pitch that I could hit," Donaldson said. "It was kind of a backup slider, curveball, and it has been a little bit since I've been able to recognize that pitch, recognize that it was backing up and still keep the ball fair."
The return of Paredes: Playing in his first game against the Blue Jays since being traded from Toronto to Philadelphia for cash considerations on June 1, Jimmy Paredes finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Paredes brought home the Phillies' first run of the afternoon with a double down the left-field line in the sixth inning, before notching a single and scoring on Andres Blanco's sacrifice fly in the eighth. The 27-year-old switch-hitter entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning for center fielder Odubel Herrera. Paredes played right, with Peter Bourjos moving to center.
"I feel good being back in Canada," Paredes said. "We had a bad game, but we'll see what we can do tomorrow. What I've learned in the National League is that you have to be ready every inning with all the double switches. You never know what's going to happen, and I try to make the most of my opportunities."
Zekeing out: Carrera gave the Blue Jays a 5-0 lead in the third with a two-run shot to right field. Carrera's second home run of the season seemed like a routine fly ball off the bat, but it continued to carry over the wall. According to Statcast™, Carrera's home run had a launch angle of 43.5 degrees. There have been only four home runs this season with a higher launch angle -- the Indians' Yan Gomes owns the top spot with a homer at 44.2 degrees.
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Russell Martin snapped a streak of 23 consecutive stolen bases against him when he threw out Bourjos at second base in the third inning. Martin's last caught stealing was back on May 10 at San Francisco. Bourjos was initially ruled safe, but after the Blue Jays challenged, the call was overturned.
The eight earned runs allowed by Eflin was the highest total given up by a Philadelphia starter since Jerome Williams surrendered eight on Aug. 20, 2015.
Phillies: After playing two games in Toronto, the Phillies will send Jeremy Hellickson (4-4, 4.34 ERA) to the mound against the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Hellickson looks to rebound after allowing seven earned runs -- including three home runs -- his last time out against the Nationals.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada (4-2, 2.57 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a two-game set on the road against Philadelphia. Estrada has allowed three earned runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.
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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.
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.