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Burnett, Phils try to stay positive after Jays tee off

Right-hander gives up six earned runs, three of Toronto's five homers

TORONTO -- The Phillies quietly played their 20,000th game in franchise history Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

They suffered their 10,480th loss in a 12-6 defeat to the Blue Jays.

View Full Game Coverage

TORONTO -- The Phillies quietly played their 20,000th game in franchise history Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

They suffered their 10,480th loss in a 12-6 defeat to the Blue Jays.

View Full Game Coverage

It will not take long for the details from this loss to be forgotten, but in the short term, the Phillies must grapple with the fact that they have lost four consecutive games to the Blue Jays to fall to 15-18. They have not been more than three games under .500 this season, which means they must beat the Mets on Friday at Citi Field to avoid a season's low point.

"Positive thoughts," A.J. Burnett preached outside the visitors' clubhouse. "Find a way to find some positives. It's a good group in there."

But it has been a painfully frustrating week for the Phillies, who have a healthy roster for the first time in more than two years. The organization entered the season with a mantra: If the players are healthy, they should win.

So far, that has not happened. The Phillies share nearly identical records through 33 games with the 2012 and 2013 teams.

The 2012 Phillies finished 81-81, while the 2013 Phillies finished 73-89.

"The execution and the fundamentals, we weren't sound at all in the four games," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

A lack of focus?

"I think it's a momentum thing, myself," he said. "It goes to being down in games on the scoreboard, trying to battle back and not having much action on the offensive side."

The Blue Jays hit 11 home runs in the four-game series, with the first two at Citizens Bank Park and the last two at Rogers Centre. The Phillies have hit just 11 home runs in their last 20 games, dating to April 16.

In between Blue Jays blasts, the Phillies made countless lapses on the field, including Thursday. Asked about an example of one of his team's difficulties, Sandberg said, "There are numerous things. Numerous things."

Not even Burnett could stop the slide. He has been one of the team's few bright spots this season, allowing just three earned runs in 27 2/3 innings in his previous four starts for an 0.98 ERA. But he allowed nine hits, seven runs (six earned), two walks and three home runs in six innings.

Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion crushed a 1-1 fastball to left field for a solo home run to tie the game in the second inning. Juan Francisco followed with a double to left field. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout to Ryan Howard to make it 2-1. Colby Rasmus followed with a home run to right field to hand the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.

"You want to come in, stop the bleeding and set the tone, but it wasn't there," Burnett said. "It's one of those series you have to put behind you. We have a game tomorrow, and we'll move forward. Everybody is pulling for each other. Nobody is getting upset. It's just a matter of clicking at the same time."

The Blue Jays scored another run in the third to make it 4-1. Meanwhile, Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey did not break. The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Freddy Galvis grounded out to end the inning.

The Phillies scored a run in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-2 when Tony Gwynn Jr. walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jimmy Rollins' single to right. With Howard on first base with two outs, Marlon Byrd crushed a ball just a few inches below the top of the center-field wall. Howard, who hit a two-run homer in the ninth, left at the crack of the bat, but could only get to third.

Domonic Brown followed and struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Blue Jays piled on, outscoring the Phillies in the series, 31-11. They added a run in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth when Adam Lind hit a two-run home run to make it 7-2. The Blue Jays hit a pair of homers against Luis Garcia in the seventh.

"Ryno was pretty accurate," Chase Utley said. "We didn't play solid baseball. Made some mistakes in the field and it cost us. At this point, we got to put these games behind us and start fresh tomorrow."

Sandberg said the lapses will be addressed with his players.

"We'll talk," he said. "We'll talk."

Philadelphia Phillies, A.J. Burnett, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley