Blue Jays hit 3 HRs in first inning, beat Orioles 6-5
TORONTO (AP) — Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki each hit solo home runs in the first inning, Marco Estrada snapped a four-start winless streak and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Friday night.
Encarnacion reached base three times and scored twice as the Blue Jays won the opener of a three-game series between the top two teams in the AL East, cutting Baltimore’s division lead to half a game. The Orioles have lost four straight.
Estrada (6-4) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in six innings.
Joaquin Benoit worked the seventh, Jason Grilli gave up Manny Machado’s solo home run in the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his 22nd save.
Mark Trumbo’s two-out double gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but the Blue Jays answered with a trio of solo shots in the bottom half. Bautista drilled Kevin Gausman’s second pitch of the game off the facing of the second deck, Encarnacion hit a one-out blast and Tulowitzki added a two-out homer.
Encarnacion’s homer was his 28th, third-most in majors.
It was the second time this season and 35th time in team history the Blue Jays have hit three home runs in an inning. The last time it happened was July 5, when Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson and Ezequiel Carrera connected in the third inning off Kansas City’s Chris Young.
The Orioles lead the majors with 152 home runs while Toronto is second with 147. The Blue Jays have 15 multihomer innings this season.
Machado tied it 3-all when he scored from first base on an infield grounder in the third. With third baseman Donaldson shifted to the right side, Machado broke for third base after Donaldson threw Chris Davis out at first. Catcher Russell Martin scrambled to cover third base but couldn’t handle Justin Smoak’s throw. Machado scored standing up as the ball rolled down the third base line toward home plate.
After throwing seven shutout innings to beat Cleveland in his previous outing, Gausman (2-8) allowed six hits and matched a season-worst by giving up six runs. He lasted three innings, matching his shortest start of the season.
Blue Jays: Toronto signed C Erik Kratz to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo.
Orioles: RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.37) is winless in five starts.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (13-3, 3.27) beat Seattle for his career-high 13th win in his previous start and has won seven straight decisions since his last lost, June 6 at Detroit.