Sports Baseball

BLUE JAYS

Blue Jays bats continue to boom against Reds

By Steve Buffery, Toronto Sun

Toronto - 

The Blue Jays hammered the ball on Tuesday night like they had a personal grudge against Rawlings.

Four times the Jays sent the ball over the fence at the Rogers Centre en-route to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The final blast came in the eighth inning when DH Kendrys Morales smacked a two-run shot in right to break a 4-4 deadlock. Morales’ blast came off Reds’ reliever Blake Wood with Jose Bautista on base.

Josh Donaldson and Bautista hit back-to-back monster jacks in the fourth to put the Jays up 3-2. Both shots were to left field while Donaldson’s landed in the fifth deck, only the 11th time in history a Jays player has hit one into the fifth deck, and the ninth different player. The last Toronto player to do it was Edwin Encarnacion, April 21, 2015 against Baltimore.

“It was nice. I’ve been putting in a lot of work, a lot of time. Tulo (Troy Tulowitzki) and I stayed here until probably 12:30, 1 a.m. working on some things. And today it paid off,” said Donaldson, who came off the DL last week.

His home run went 435 feet.

“I’ve had couple that were 460 plus, but I feel like that one was pretty good,” he said.

As if the Rogers Centre fans didn’t have enough excitement that inning, two batters after Bautista, catcher Russell Martin smashed a home run to the second deck in left, giving Toronto a 4-2 lead — the first time since July 29, 2016 Toronto hit three homers in a single inning.

Toronto starter J.A. Happ, who returned to the rotation on Tuesday after missing 39 games with left elbow soreness, lasted four innings, throwing 81 pitches. He was replaced by Danny Barnes, who gave up a home run to short stop Zack Cozart, his second of the night. The Reds welcomed Happ from the DL with back-to-back home runs in the first inning, first by Cozart followed by Etobicoke native Joey Votto.

The Reds threatened in the third. With the bases loaded and two out, Schebler smacked a hard grounder off Happ between second and third. Tulowitzki made an outstanding play at short to end the inning. Tulowitzki back-handed the grounder, which was a high hop, and fired it to first for the out. Wojciechowski was pulled after four innings.

The Reds tied it in the seventh when leadoff hitter Jose Peraza smacked a single off reliever Ryan Tepera to left, stole second and went to third on an error, all with none out. The next batter, Billy Hamilton, rapped a single to send Peraza home. Tepera had not allowed a run over his last 19 innings.

Hamilton stole second then was gunned out at third by Martin, a huge play given the score. In the same inning, Toronto left-fielder Ezequiel Carrera made a diving catch to save a run. Schebler led off the top of the eighth with a double, off Aaron Loup, but then manager John Gibbons brought in RHP Joe Smith who managed to get out of the inning without allowing a run score. Smith got the win. Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth and picked up his 10th save.