Edwin Encarnacion's two homers lift Toronto Blue Jays

By Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
Edwin Encarnacion's two homers lift Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion is heating up at the plate and no one enjoyed it more Saturday afternoon than J.A. Happ.

"It's fun to watch when he gets in that zone where he doesn't miss pitches," the Toronto Blue Jays left-hander said. "And it certainly helps us a bunch, it starts rubbing off on the rest of us, too."


Encarnacion hit two home runs and had five RBIs to lead the Blue Jays to an 11-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Encarnacion also hit the game-winning home run in the 10th inning on Friday night.

"When you feel good they can throw the ball under the ground and you will hit it," Encarnacion said. "But when you're not feeling good they can throw the ball down the middle and you're not going to hit it."


Encarnacion had an RBI double in the third inning, keyed a five-run sixth inning with a three-run homer and added a solo shot in the eighth and has 15 home runs for the season.

"This isn't any surprise," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're just not making very good pitches and he's a good hitter. That's a bad combination."

"We've seen what he did today and last night many times," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They pitch him tough, they bear down on him, that's why when he's patient and waits for a pitch he can hit he's very dangerous."

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Michael Saunders followed Encarnacion's second homer of the game with his 11th homer of the season. Both homers were against left-hander Brian Duensing.

Joey Rickard, Chris Davis and Manny Machado hit home runs for the Orioles (36-25).

Happ (7-3) allowed three home runs among eight hits in giving up four runs while striking out five in seven innings to earn the win.

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Orioles right-hander Mike Wright allowed six hits, five walks and four runs in five-plus innings. He struck out three and did not factor in the decision.


Left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland (1-2) took the loss, allowing five hits, two walks and five runs in two innings.

"I wasn't hitting the strike zone as much as I normally do," McFarland said.

The Blue Jays led 3-0 after three innings.

Ryan Goins tripled to score Justin Smoak who led off the bottom of the second with a walk.

Ezequiel Carrera walked to lead off the third. Josh Donaldson singled and Encarnacion hit an RBI double. Saunders followed with a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Orioles tied the game with a three-run fourth. Rickard led off with his fifth homer of the season. Machado doubled and Davis hit his third homer of the series and 15th of the season to tie the game. It was the first extra base hit that Happ had allowed to a left-handed hitter this season.

Machado led off the sixth with his 16th homer of the season, lofting a 2-2 changeup into the left-field seats and Baltimore led 4-3.

Wright was removed after Kevin Pillar led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. Darwin Barney greeted McFarland with a single to put runners at the corners.


Pinch-hitter Devon Travis tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left. Pinch-hitter Russell Martin and Carrera walked to load the bases. Donaldson hit a sacrifice fly and Encarnacion homered to left on a 1-0 two-seam fastball to give Toronto an 8-4 lead.

"Starting off 1-0 against him, I knew he was going to be swinging at that pitch," McFarland said. "I wanted to throw a sinker down in the zone -- I caught too much of the plate up in the zone and he's a good hitter, you make mistakes, he's going to hit it."

The Blue Jays added one run to the lead in the seventh on singles by Pillar and Barney and a sacrifice fly by Martin.

Right-hander Joe Biagini could not retire a batter in the eighth, allowing singles to Rickard and Machado, a walk to Davis and an RBI single to Mark Trumbo. Right-hander Gavin Floyd came in and allowed a sacrifice fly to Jonathan Schoop to cut the lead to 9-6.

Pinch-hitter Hyun Soo Kim walked to load the bases and Francisco Pena grounded into an inning-ending double play.


"It got a little hairy there at the end and Gavin came in and did a key, key job for us getting that double play to get us out of that," Gibbons said.

Right-hander Jason Grilli pitched around a single in the ninth to finish the game.

NOTES: Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista (sore hip flexor) was out of the lineup for the second straight game Saturday. OF Ezequiel Carrera again replaced Bautista in right field and the leadoff spot. ... Blue Jays backup C Josh Thole was behind the plate to give regular C Russell Martin a break. ... Toronto SS Troy Tulowitzki (strained right quadriceps) will be given a couple of days off after he removed himself from an extended spring training game Friday because he "didn't feel right." There was no re-injury so the setback to his return from the disabled list is considered minor. ... Orioles INF Paul Janish made his seventh start of the season at third base, spelling INF Ryan Flaherty. ... Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-6, 6.21 ERA) will face Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez (5-1, 2.91 ERA) in the finale of the four-game series Sunday.


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