Strong Showing by Sanchez, Encarnacion Homer Power Jays Over Diamondbacks
dwin Encarnacion hit his 25th home run, Aaron Sanchez pitched seven strong innings and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Encarnacion’s three-run shot in the third inning pushed his major league-leading RBI total to 84.
Sanchez (10-1), pitching on nine days’ rest thanks to the All-Star break, allowed a run and scattered six hits to improve to 9-0 in his last 15 starts. He struck out five with no walks and hit two batters.
Two Toronto runs were unearned, both set up when pitchers threw wildly to first on a pickoff try.
Zack Godley (2-1), called up from Triple-A Reno to make the start for Arizona, went five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, and six hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
With the victory in the opener of a two-game interleague series, the Blue Jays pulled within 1 1/2 games of first-place Baltimore in the AL East.
Josh Donaldson singled three times for Toronto, driving in a run and scoring another.
Godley retired the first two batters in the third before singles by Devon Travis and Donaldson. That brought up Encarnacion, who hit Godley’s 2-1 pitch into the seats in left field and Toronto led 3-1.
Travis singled again in the fifth and raced to third when Godley threw wildly to first on a pickoff try. Travis came home on Donaldson’s single and the Blue Jays were up 4-1.
Arizona reliever Dominic Leone walked pinch-hitter Justin Smoak to start the ninth. The runner moved to second on Leone’s throwing error, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Travis’ groundout.
The Diamondbacks went ahead 1-0 in the first. Jean Segura led off with a single, stole second, took third on Michael Bourn’s groundout and scored when Paul Goldschmidt bounced out to second.
The seven strikeouts matched a career high for Godley, who was making his ninth big league start.
Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista (turf toe) is to make his first rehab appearance for Class-A Dunedin on Wednesday. He is to play three games for Triple-A Buffalo over the weekend and, manager John Gibbons said, if all goes well he will rejoin the Blue Jays on Monday.
Diamondbacks: OF David Peralta (lower back strain) was 1 for 6 with a double and RBI in his first two rehab games for Double-A Mobile. Manager Chip Hale said Peralta could rejoin the Diamondbacks next week. … INF Chris Owings (plantar fasciitis in left foot) was 4 for 6 with a triple and two walks in two rehab games for Triple-A Reno.
Blue Jays.: RHP Marcus Stroman (7-4, 4.89 ERA) takes the mound in a Wednesday afternoon game, the finale before the Jays head to Toronto for a nine-game homestand.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (4-8, 5.28) tries to bounce back from a rough start against the Dodgers in the last home game before Arizona embarks on a 10-game trip.