Remember that nine-game skid that effectively ended the Jays’ season last May? It’s not happening this year. Well, at least not this week. Edwin Encarnacion homered for the fifth time in three games and Shaun Marcum struck out eight D-Backs in a 12-4 win Sunday, snapping Toronto’s three-game losing streak and running its record to 26-20 — a game back of the idiot Yankees in the AL Wildcard race with a mere 116 to go.
Encarnacion, who hit three solo shots in the series opener in Arizona on Friday and added another Saturday, gave the Jays a 7-2 lead in the fifth with a two-run homer. Two batters earlier, renowned slugger Jose Bautista blew things open with a two-run blast of his own — his 14th of the season and seventh in the past nine games. Since Sept. 1 of last season, Bautista has 24 homers and 59 RBIs in 75 games — numbers that are downright Sammy Sosa-esque. Can you say American League MVP? How about Hall of Fame?
Encarnacion (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Bautista (2-for-5, four RBIs) weren’t the only ones in on the act Sunday — Fred Lewis, Adam Lind, Lyle Overbay, Jose Molina and John McDonald each had at least two hits, and Marcum even helped his own cause with a fourth inning RBI double. Marcum also went five innings to pick up his fourth win in five starts, improving to 4-1 on the year.
In all, a nice bounce-back after a couple losses to start the series. The Jays will look to keep rolling tonight in Los Angeles, where Brett Cecil (3-2, 4.98) gets the ball in the opener against Joe Saunders (3-5, 4.42) and the Angels.