It is all finally starting to click for the Toronto Blue Jays, who for the past couple years have been acquiring talent to compete in the American League East. They have now won 11 straight games, outscoring their opponents 88-40, and are now four games over .500 and one game out of 1st place!
The streak started with a win on June 2nd, taking down Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals 7-3. Kevin Pillar hit 2 home runs in that one, driving in 4 runs. The next night Mark Buehrle tossed a complete game shutout and won his 7th game of the season. Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes combined for 5 hits and drove in 4 runs. Joey Bats hit his 8th home run of the season.
After taking 2 of 3 from the Nats, the Blue Jays swept a hot Houston Astros team, at home. They outscored the 'Stros 20-10 in the 3 game series. Aaron Sanchez allowed 2 runs (1 ER) over 8 innings in the series opener, following Buehrle's CG SO. The Jays scored 6 runs with 6 different guys picking scoring a runs and Reyes and Bautista picking up 2 more RBI each.
Unfortunately for the Jays, Sanchez was just placed on the 15 day DL with a lat strain. His ERA has been lowered to 3.55, from 4.26, with 4 quality starts in a row.
Drew Hutchinson gave Toronto another strong start, allowing the Astros to score just 1 run over 6.1 IP. Pillar was in the center of things again, picking up 2 more RBI and Justin Smoak added a pinch hit RBI double in the 9th inning,
R.A. Dickey failed to get out of the 6th inning in the series finale, and Houston touched up Bo Schultz who allowed 4 runs, 2 earned thanks to a Josh Donaldson error. But down 6-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning, Reyes singled home Munenori Kawasaki, and Chris Colabello plated Reyes and Bautista with a walk-off single off the Astros closer, Luke Gregerson.
The Jays hosted the Miami Marlins next, who they swept, outscoring them 22-8 in a 3 game series. They opened things up with a 6 run first inning off Brad Hand, scoring 11 runs in total, led by Donaldson's 16th home run and 3 RBI. 7 innings from Marco Estrada led to his second straight victory.
Game 2 was a much closer game, and Toronto was trailing heading into the bottom of the 9th, but Edwin Encarnacion hit a walk-off 2 run homer, off the Marlins closer A.J. Ramos. It was Encarnacion's 13th of the season. Buerhle allowed 8 hits over 8 IP but just 2 runs on solo shots to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich.
The Blue Jays completed the sweep with a 7-2 win, backing Scott Copeland, making his 1st career start. He allowed 4 hits over 7 IP. Russell Martin, Smoak, Reyes and Donaldson homered in this one.
Toronto came back to the States this weekend, for a 3 game series with the Boston Red Sox. Combined they scored 50 runs and the Jays had two save situations. The Red Sox stated things off with a bang, scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning off Hutchinson. By the 3rd inning is was 8-1 Sox. But a 9 run 7th inning, sparked by a Martin bases loaded triple and a Smoak 2 run homer to give the Jays the lead. Brett Cecil earned his 3rd save of the season, walking 2 and allowing a run to score in the 9th. Jays won 13-10.
Game 2 was less exciting, with the Jays winning 5-4, but an 11th inning home run by Martin broke the tie and Cecil had a clean bottom of the 11th for his 4th save of the season.
Estrada won his third straight start to complete the sweep but battled through a 5th inning that saw the Red Sox score 5 runs. But the Jays gave him 10 runs between the 4th and 5th innings, thanks to Ryan Goins' 3 run home run in the 4th. Goins finished the game with 5 RBI. Danny Valencia hit a 2r homer in the 5th. The Jays touched up Eduardo Rodriguez who had excellent in his first three start for the Red Sox.
The Toronto Blue Jays have scored 60 more runs than the next team in the MLB, the Texas Rangers, and lead the MLB in SLG. But the pitching staff is a real question, with Marcus Stroman and now Sanchez on the DL.
Blue Jays June Splits