Encarnacion hits 3-run HR, Blue Jays beat Tigers 6-0
TORONTO (AP) J.A. Happ got hit hard the last time he faced Detroit.
This time around, he tamed the Tigers with an effective high fastball.
Happ and two relievers combined on a seven-hit shutout, Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run home run and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their season-high winning streak to seven games with a 6-0 victory over Detroit on Friday night.
''Happ did an excellent job against us,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''We have a lot of trouble with him.''
In his final start before the All-Star break, Happ (12-3) matched his career-high in wins by giving up six hits, striking out nine and walking none in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander, who went 12-4 for Philadelphia in 2009, has won six consecutive starts.
''It's definitely nice,'' Happ said of his 12th victory. ''It's a testament to the team and our bullpen. I feel good about how this first half has gone.''
Happ allowed six runs in five innings in an 11-0 defeat at Comerica Park on June 6. He hasn't lost since.
''He did make a few adjustments,'' Detroit's James McCann said. ''He used his fastball up in the zone a little bit more than he did at our place.''
Jesse Chavez worked 1 1-3 innings and Bo Schultz finished as Toronto won for the seventh time in nine meetings with Detroit.
Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey (2-8) allowed one run and six hits in six innings. He has won just once in seven starts.
''My command wasn't really that great tonight,'' Pelfrey said. ''I was pretty excited to pitch and I know how good of a lineup that is so I knew I had to bring it. I probably had too much adrenaline.''
Toronto's only run against Pelfrey came in the fifth. Darwin Barney hit a leadoff double, advanced on Ezequiel Carrera's single and scored when Josh Donaldson grounded into a double play.
The Blue Jays added four more in the seventh against relievers Kyle Ryan and Bobby Parnell. Kevin Pillar hit an RBI double off Ryan, who left after walking Carrera. Parnell came on and got Donaldson to pop out before Encarnacion drilled his 23rd home run, a blast into the center field party deck.
''Eddie is having a heck of a year,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''He crushed that ball.''
Encarnacion leads the majors with 80 RBIs.
Detroit has lost four of five.
Toronto (50-39) won its 50th game before the All-Star break for the first time since 1992. It's the fourth time the Blue Jays have hit 50 wins before the break.
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Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders became an All-Star after winning the AL Final Vote contest. Saunders collected 17.7 million votes.
Toronto optioned RHP Drew Hutchison to Triple-A Buffalo and recalled INF Andy Burns from the Bisons. Hutchison started against Detroit Thursday in place of RHP Marco Estrada (back).
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann, on the 15-day DL since July 4, has been diagnosed with a strained muscle in his neck and expects to resume throwing over the All-Star break.
Blue Jays: INF Ryan Goins, who went on the DL with a strained forearm after pitching an inning of relief in Toronto's 19-inning loss to Cleveland on July 1, is taking ground balls but has yet to resume throwing.
Tigers: Former Blue Jays farmhand Matt Boyd will start for Detroit Saturday. The left-hander was acquired in the July, 2015, deal that sent David Price to Toronto. Boyd is 0-2 with a 6.44 ERA in six games, five starts, for the Tigers this season. Parnell was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room for Boyd.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (9-1, 2.94) has allowed one run in eighth innings in each of his past two starts, posting victories over Colorado and Kansas City. Sanchez allowed two runs in eight innings in a 3-2 defeat at Detroit on June 7. He has not lost a decision since April 22 against Oakland.