Donaldson hits grand slam, Blue Jays rout Phillies 11-3
TORONTO (AP) An offensive outburst by Josh Donaldson helped put struggling pitcher Marcus Stroman back in the winner's circle.
Donaldson hit a grand slam and finished with five RBIs, Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays routed the Philadelphia Phillies 11-3 on Tuesday.
Kevin Pillar hit a leadoff blast in the second and Ezequiel Carerra drilled a two-run shot in the third as Toronto roughed up Phillies rookie Zach Eflin (0-1) to win for the 11th time in 14 meetings with Philadelphia.
Stroman (6-2) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings to win for the first time in four starts.
''He looked like the old guy,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''It showed he's back.''
Stroman struck out six and got 11 of his 21 outs on ground balls.
''He located his pitches down in the strike zone very well,'' Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. ''To righties and lefties that slider was really diving.''
Stroman had posted a 7.58 ERA in his previous five starts but held the Phillies scoreless until Jimmy Paredes hit an RBI double in the sixth.
''I felt better,'' Stroman said. ''Not exactly where I want to be but looking forward to the next one.''
Donaldson doubled and scored in the first, doubled home a run in the second, and hit his third career grand slam in the third. It was the second grand slam of the season for Donaldson, who also hit one April 8 against Boston.
''I was able to get some pitches to hit today and I took advantage,'' Donaldson said.
Donaldson reached for a fourth time in the seventh when he walked and scored on Encarnacion's homer off Colton Murray. For Encarnacion, who sat out Monday with a sore right index finger, the blast was his fourth in four games.
Encarnacion's two RBIs gave him a major league-best 56, one more than Boston's David Ortiz.
Making his major league debut in place of injured right-hander Vince Velasquez, Eflin (0-1) allowed nine runs, eight earned, and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
The eight earned runs were the most allowed by a Phillies rookie since Gavin Floyd gave up eight against the Mets on April 19, 2005.
Still, Eflin said he had ''the time of my life.''
''It still was a dream come true,'' Eflin said. ''I was out there in front of 50,000 people playing the game that I love.''
Eflin began his outing by fanning Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. He also struck out Encarnacion, the third batter he faced.
''I was pretty excited after the first couple of hitters,'' Mackanin said. ''He looked like he was right on the money, but he just didn't make quality pitches after that.''
Philadelphia has lost five of six and 14 of 18.
Cesar Hernadez hit a solo homer off Stroman in the seventh.
Following the game, Toronto designated LHP Scott Diamond for assignment and optioned LHP Aaron Loup to Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays will make corresponding moves before Wednesday's game at Philadelphia.
LOTS OF LONG BALLS
Blue Jays pitchers have allowed at least one home run in seven straight games and nine of the past 10.
Phillies: 3B Maikel Franco (sprained right knee) sat for the second straight game. Mackanin said he hopes Franco can return Wednesday. Franco injured his knee during a rundown in the fourth inning Sunday, landing awkwardly after tagging out Washington's Chris Heisey. Franco stayed in the game and hit a home run in the ninth.
Blue Jays: OF Michael Saunders left in the third with tightness in his right hamstring. ... Bautista was at DH for the second straight game after missing the previous three with a sore right thigh.
Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-4, 4.34) starts when Toronto and Philadelphia meet Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Hellickson is 5-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 15 career starts against the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (4-2, 2.57) starts for Toronto on Wednesday. Estrada is unbeaten in eight starts and has won three straight decisions. He has a 6.15 ERA in 10 games against Philadelphia.