Blue Jays snap Diamondbacks' 5-game streak with 5-2 victory
TORONTO (AP) He may have picked up his team-leading ninth win in Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ had to work to earn his third straight victory.
For just the third time in 15 games, the left-hander was unable to last into the seventh inning, throwing 99 pitches in five innings, giving up two runs and six hits, while walking four and striking out eight.
''It was a battle for sure,'' Happ (9-3) said. ''I felt like I was executing some pitches and I suppose I was just missing there so it made for a lot of long counts. And four walks are too many. The bullpen came in and did an awesome job, picked me up, picked the team up.''
Gavin Floyd, Drew Storen and Jason Grilli pitched one inning each to get the Blue Jays to the ninth, where Roberto Osuna picked up his 14th save and snapped the Diamondbacks' five-game win streak.
With the win, the Blue Jays earned a split of the two-game interleague series. Arizona came into its fifth-ever game in Toronto on an 8-2 run that featured six consecutive road wins.
Russell Martin got the Blue Jays going with a three-run home run to left-center in the first inning - his sixth of the season - and Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki added solo shots to the same spot in the sixth inning.
Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to 10 games, while Encarnacion's 19th of the season represented his major league-leading 62nd RBI.
''I like the way he looks,'' manager John Gibbon said of Tulowitzki since he returned from the 15-day disabled list on June 18. ''We need him to be good and he's done a great job since he's been back.''
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray (4-6) made his first appearance against the Blue Jays, lasting 5 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and four earned runs with eight strikeouts.
But after giving up the first-inning home run to Martin, the second-year left-hander settled down and might have fared better had his team not stranded nine runners.
''I just made a couple mistakes and left the ball over the middle of the plate and when I was trying to go in or get the ball away they made me pay for it,'' he said. ''They're a team that can hit and they can hit homers and this is a ballpark conducive to that. Overall, I feel like I bore down those last four, five innings and at least gave us a chance to get back into this.''
After watching Ray regain his composure, Arizona manager Chip Hale sent him back out in the sixth with the hope that he would get the first two batters out before replacing him when Martin next came to bat. But Encarnacion, the first batter he faced in the sixth, ruined that plan.
''Those are mistakes, he's a young pitcher learning and we're just happy he was able to right the ship there after the first and get us through to the sixth inning,'' Hale said.
Arizona's Phil Gosselin capitalized on an error by right fielder Darrell Ceciliani to put the Diamondbacks on the board in the third inning. Arizona then had a chance to tie the game after Happ issued consecutive walks to load the bases, but the left-hander struck out Welington Castillo to end the threat. Michael Bourn added a run in the fourth with an RBI single.
A day after seeing his 13-game hitting streak end, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 2 with two walks.
Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, who went 1 for 3, was almost not going to play because of a ''bad neck,'' according to Gibbons.
BACK IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, a native of nearby Kingston, Ontario, and a member of Canada's 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning squad, took batting practice with the Diamondbacks before the game.
Martin's home run was Toronto's 463rd all-time in interleague play, tops in the major leagues and 31 more than the second-place Chicago White Sox.
Blue Jays: OF Ezequiel Carrera (sore Achilles) was replaced by Darrell Ceciliani in right field after jamming his leg against a base in Tuesday's series opener. Ceciliani, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, made his first start as a Blue Jay, while Carrera was given the day off. He was replaced as leadoff hitter by 2B Devon Travis. . RHP Marco Estrada, who left Tuesday's game with tightness in his back, is still on track to make his next scheduled start, Monday against Colorado.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.54) will face Rockies RHP Eddie Butler (2-4, 6.26) on Thursday as Arizona begins a four-game series at Colorado. In six road starts this season, Greinke is 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA, and is 7-4 lifetime with a 4.06 ERA against the Rockies.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (7-1, 3.35) starts against White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (2-6, 4.16) on Friday as Toronto starts a three-game set at Chicago. Sanchez will be making his first career start against the White Sox.