Edwin Encarnacion was just trying to hit a sacrifice fly. He ended up giving the Blue Jays a whole lot more.
Encarnacion hit his seventh career grand slam and added a solo homer as the Blue Jays handed the slumping Texas Rangers their season-high sixth straight loss, 12-2
“Every time he steps in the box, he’s got a chance to go deep,” manager John Gibbons said.
Encarnacion had three hits and narrowly missed a third home run in his final at-bat, flying out to the warning track in left against Rangers infielder Adam Rosales.
Russell Martin and Danny Valencia each hit solo homers for the Blue Jays, who improved to 17-7 in June and boosted their ML-leading run total to 417.
Mark Buehrle (8-4) pitched seven innings to win his third straight decision, improving to 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA in five June starts. Buehrle allowed two runs and five
“When you get 10-plus runs scored for you, it makes it a lot easier,” Buehrle said.
Encarnacion gave the Blue Jays all the runs Buehrle would need with a first inning blast to center off Nick Martinez (5-4), then went deep off Ross Detwiler in the
seventh. It was Encarnacion’s 20th multihomer game.
“Very exciting moment for me and the team,” Encarnacion said of his grand slam, the second of the season for the Blue Jays.
Encarnacion’s slam marked the ML-leading 29th time Toronto has scored four or more runs in an inning.
“We’ve been doing that all year,” Gibbons said. “It’s not easy. We’ve been making it look easy, but it’s not that easy.”
Toronto has won 11 of the past 14 meetings with Texas, including eight of 12 at home.
Prince Fielder hit his 300th career homer, joining father Cecil in the 300-home run club and giving baseball its second father-son duo to reach the plateau. Bobby
Bonds (332) and career leader Barry Bonds (762) are the only other father and son to reach the 300-homer mark.
“That’s pretty good company,” Fielder said.
It’s the longest losing streak for Texas since an eight-game slide from Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2014. The Rangers (37-37) fell to .500 for the first time since May 30, when
they were 25-25.
“We need to figure out what we can do better,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Martinez allowed nine runs, eight earned, and nine hits in six innings. He has won just once in his past six starts.
“I fell behind a lot of guys,” Martinez said.
Rosales became the ninth position player to pitch for the Rangers when he came on in the eighth. The last to do it was J.P. Arencibia, who pitched against Tampa Bay on
Aug. 13, 2014.
“I just threw all straight balls,” Rosales said. “I didn’t try to put anything on them. I tried one in warm ups but that wasn’t going to happen. I don’t have the
control with the off-speed.”
QUICK OFF THE MARK
The last time Toronto led 4-0 four batters into a game was July 8, 2012. In that game, Colby Rasmus and Encarnacion both hit two-run homers.
Fielder went 2 for 4 with a double and leads the majors with 31 multihit games.
Rangers: RHP Matt Harrison (back surgery) threw a 35 pitch bullpen session in front of manager Jeff Banister and pitching coach Mike Maddux. Harrison is set to throw
another session on Sunday.
Blue Jays: Toronto activated 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) off the 15-day DL and optioned INF Munenori Kawasaki to Triple-A.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo is 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA in his past six starts, lowering his ERA from 4.26 to 2.98 in that span. Gallardo has not allowed a run in his past
Blue Jays: Toronto selected LHP Matt Boyd from Triple-A Buffalo to make his MLB debut Saturday. Boyd went 7-2 with a 1.26 ERA in 14 starts at Double-A and Triple-A
this season. He’ll start in place of RHP Aaron Sanchez (strained back muscle). RHP Rob Rasmussen was optioned to Buffalo.