Saturday, June 25, 2016

Blue Jays allow 7 HRs, still top White Sox

 Edwin Encarnacion drove in four runs and Devon Travis added two hits and two RBIs, as the Blue Jays survived a franchise-record-tying seven White Sox home runs -- all solo shots -- to claim a 10-8 victory Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field and even this three-game set. It was the third time in history a team hit seven home runs in a loss (also the Tigers of 1995 and 2004).
"I don't think I've ever been part of a game like that, that many home runs, but they were all solos," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We came out early [and scored], they kept chipping away. A couple of our old teammates [were] doing some damage against us, too. It's a nice win, but it was a crazy day. It's a nice hitting park, especially when it heats up. It didn't feel good until that final out was made."
The Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead on White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed eight runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings, but Brett LawrieDioner Navarro and J.B. Shuckconnected for back-to-back-to-back home runs off R.A. Dickey with two outs in the second to cut the lead to two. Lawrie's was of the inside-the-park variety, and he added a second in the fourth, marking his first multi-homer effort. The last time the White Sox hit at least three consecutive home runs in an inning came on Aug. 14, 2008, when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe went deep against Joel Peralta and Robinson Tejeda in the sixth inning of a 9-2 victory against the Royals.
Dickey earned the victory by yielding four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven.
"My ball was moving all over the place, there was a lot of velocity to it ... it just felt like I was pitching in a bizarro world there for a minute," Dickey said. "An outing where you strike out the side and give up three home runs? I don't know if that's ever been done. It's a war of attrition, and thankfully we won it."
Tim Anderson homered off reliever Drew Storen in the seventh, Alex Avila homered offJason Grilli in the eighth and Adam Eaton homered in the ninth off Roberto Osuna, but the most home runs hit by the White Sox since April 8, 2014, when they hit six in Colorado, wasn't enough. The White Sox also hit seven home runs in a game on April 23, 1955, at Kansas City.
"We knew coming in that we had to find the zone, and that wasn't the case today," Gonzalez said. "We scored a lot of runs. We've got to win that game. That can't happen. I have to be more consistent."
Making history: Lawrie's inside-the-park home run with two outs in the second marked the first one of this variety by a White Sox player since Scott Podsednik on Sept. 12, 2009, at the Angels and the first of Lawrie's career. It also was the second White Sox inside-the-parker at U.S. Cellular Field, with Chris Singleton also having accomplished the feat on Sept. 29, 2000, against the Royals. Lawrie became the first White Sox player to have an inside-the-park homer and a regular homer in consecutive plate appearances since Ron Santo on June 9, 1974. Jean Segura did it for the D-backs against the Cubs on April 7 of this season.
"It was a beautiful moment," said Eaton. "Inside-the-park home runs are the most exciting thing in all of baseball, so it was fun to see."
Triple double: A day after squandering a bases-loaded opportunity in the ninth inning, the Blue Jays didn't let the White Sox off the hook in the first. They strung together five straight hits to score three runs off Gonzalez, with the biggest damage on back-to-back-to-back doubles by Encarnacion, Michael Saunders and Troy Tulowitzki.  
"It was great," Dickey said. "We had what, one home run and they had seven? So, to win a game where you give up seven homers and you only hit one? That's a fantastic day in my book. We scored runs in a lot of different ways. It wasn't just the long ball. And whenever we're doing that, we're probably going to be successful."
Devon's divine: Travis is starting to hit like he did last year, when in 62 games during his injury-shortened rookie season he hit .304 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. On Saturday, he went 2-for-4 with a walk and clubbed a two-run home run in the second inning, his fourth of the season. He also made a nice leaping grab of a soft line drive to end the eighth, preserving an 8-7 lead. Travis, who missed all of April while recovering from shoulder surgery, is hitting .447 (17-for-38) with three home runs, four doubles, nine RBIs and six runs scored in his past 10 games. More >
"This game, every single day is a work in progress," Travis said. "I feel good, though. I'm just thankful that I'm starting to find a couple holes."
Beck battles in relief: Much of Chris Beck's career has come as a starting pitcher, but he handled relief responsibilities Saturday without much issue. Beck replaced Gonzalez with one out and one on in the sixth and walked the bases loaded, but he struck out Saunders on a 3-2 pitch to escape the jam without allowing a run. Beck hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
"Everybody that was available, that could get in there, was in there," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of his bullpen usage. "You have to be able to mix and match and try and find a way through it. With Gonzo, they got to him early, and then he settled down and got into a little bit of trouble again. Tough lineup. They've got some thunder in there and we just couldn't hold them off."
"We didn't win it today, but there were some guys that got some rest and our guys swung the bat."-- Ventura
"I was telling [pitching coach Pete Walker] between innings, 'I felt the best I have all year.' I was 38 again." -- Dickey, 41
The White Sox hit seven homers and not one was projected by Statcast™ to clear 400 feet. Shuck's 394-foot shot edged out Lawrie's 393-foot shot for the deepest drive. Travis' homer, the lone one for the Blue Jays, covered 404 feet.
The Blue Jays challenged the ruling of Todd Frazier reaching first base with one out in the sixth inning. Frazier hit a ground ball to third, but the throw by Ryan Goins pulled Encarnacion away from the bag at first. First-base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled Frazier safe, and after review, the call was confirmed.
In the eighth, a crew chief review was called to determine whether a pitch by White Sox reliever Dan Jennings hit Josh Thole to start the inning for the Blue Jays. After review, it was ruled that the call of a ball stands.
Blue Jays: Marcus Stroman (6-3, 5.23 ERA) will make his eighth road start in the series finale Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Stroman allowed four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox on April 25 in Toronto, taking a no-decision. Since May 17, Stroman is 2-3 with a 7.59 ERA in seven starts. First pitch is 2:10 p.m. ET.
White Sox: Chris Sale (12-2, 2.83 ERA), who leads the Major Leagues in wins, makes his 16th start of the season in Sunday's series finale. He has a 3-2 record with a 2.25 ERA lifetime against the Blue Jays. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. CT.

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