D-backs drop Blue Jays for fifth straight victory
Jun 21, 2016, 7:41 PM | Updated: 9:37 pm
(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale was hard pressed to recall the last time one of his teams had more runs than hits.
That was the case Tuesday night, when Yasmany Tomas and Peter O’Brien homered, Patrick Corbin threw 6 1/3 solid innings and the Diamondbacks beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 for their fifth straight win.
“You don’t really remember many of those, but we’ll take it,” Hale said. “I didn’t realize it until I looked up in the seventh and it was only three hits? I had to check my card.”
In a rare visit to Toronto — Arizona was playing just its fourth game at Rogers Centre and first since 2004 — the Diamondbacks overcame a strong pitching performance by starter Marco Estrada, who gave up two hits before leaving the game after the sixth inning with tightness in his back. But in scoring the only two home runs of the game through Tomas in the fourth and O’Brien in the seventh, the Diamondbacks mustered enough offense to get out with the win, their eighth in their last 10 games.
Corbin (4-6) improved to 4-1 on the road, surrendering two hits and scattering eight hits. Jake Barrett and Tyler Clippard got the Diamondbacks to the ninth, where reliever Daniel Hudson got Justin Smoak to fly out to end the game and earn his first save of the season.
“This team has a lot of power, so we’re just trying to keep them off balance,” Corbin said. “I got back to the fastball inside and just tried to get as many groundballs as I could.”
Barrett broke the bat of AL player of the week Josh Donaldson in the seventh with runners at the corners, and Jean Segura turned an inning-ending double play. It was the 70th double play the Blue Jays have hit into this season, worst in the major leagues.
“That was probably the turning point of the game right there,” Hudson said.
The 32-year-old Estrada became the first pitcher to hold opponents to five or fewer hits and pitch six or more innings in 11 consecutive games.
It wasn’t much of a consolation.
“Shoot, there’s been a lot of great pitchers in this game,” he said. “And for something like that to happen, obviously very excited, very happy for it. But it’s kind of a bittersweet moment right now. We lost. There’s nothing really to cheer for.”
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons pulled Estrada to avoid compounding the back problem. Gibbons was perturbed that Toronto was beaten at its own game.
“We usually hit some home runs,” he said. “We had some chances. We had some guys on base, we couldn’t cash anything in.”
Kevin Pillar provided more outfield heroics in the fourth inning, leaping full speed to snag O’Brien’s fly ball and crashing into the center-field wall.
“It hurt a little bit, just caught my elbow,” Pillar said. “I think I got it in between the padding in there. I’m good though, I’m always good. It’s going to take more than that.”
Blue Jays: OF Jose Bautista (left toe) will spend the next two weeks in a walking boot before being reassessed after he was diagnosed with turf toe on Monday during an examination in Charlotte, North Carolina. He originally got the injury chasing down a fly ball in last Thursday’s win in Philadelphia. Ezequiel Carrera will continue to play right field and lead off the batting order in his absence. … LHP Brett Cecil (lat) and LHP Franklin Morales (shoulder) both joined Class A Dunedin on Tuesday to begin rehab assignments.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (4-5, 4.44) makes his first career appearance against the Blue Jays and is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA in nine career starts in interleague play.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (8-3, 3.41) has a 2-1 record against the Diamondbacks in four starts, with a 1.73 ERA over five appearances.