Pillar hits tiebreaking homer, Blue Jays beat Dodgers 5-2
May. 07, 2016
TORONTO (AP) — An unexpected slugger gave the Blue Jays their longest winning streak of 2016.
Kevin Pillar hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, Jose Bautista also connected and Toronto beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Friday night.
Gavin Floyd (1-2) worked one inning for the win and Drew Storen survived a shaky ninth to earn his second save as the Blue Jays recorded their season-best fourth straight win.
The Dodgers have lost eight of 10.
Edwin Encarnacion doubled off Joe Blanton (2-2) with one out in the eighth and was replaced by pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera. The Dodgers intentionally walked Justin Smoak to face Pillar, who hit a 1-2 pitch into the left field bullpen for his second homer of the season.
"I think it's the first time someone's been intentionally walked in front of me," Pillar said.
"Naturally, you try to do too much. I think I got caught up in that the swing before. Just had to gather myself and do what I've been doing, just try to hit the ball hard," he said.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn't fault Blanton for giving up the decisive drive.
"At that point in time with the base open late in the game, you don't want to let the lefty beat you," Roberts said. "I loved the matchup with Pillar and (Russell) Martin on deck. He got ahead in the count, he had him 1-2, threw a fastball down and in and Pillar put a good swing on it."
Pillar wasn't sure his lined shot had enough to get out.
"I don't hit enough to know that they're going to be homers," he said. "I just thought I hit it enough to get over his head."
Los Angeles used a walk and two singles to load the bases with two outs in the ninth but Corey Seager flied out to end it.
Darwin Barney's leadoff single in the third was Toronto's only hit through the first five innings, but Yasiel Puig threw out Barney as he tried to stretch his hit into a double. The assist was Puig's fourth.
Bautista broke a scoreless tie in the sixth by connecting on a 3-2 pitch from rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda.
"I ended up throwing a lot of pitches tonight and the one pitch I want to take back is that home run pitch I threw to Bautista," Maeda said through a translator.
Maeda allowed two runs and two hits in six innings. Maeda's 102 pitches were a season-high. He pitched for the first time since April 28.
"Overall, really good," Roberts said. "Everything was working. That's an aggressive team over there."
The Dodgers tied it with a two-out rally in the seventh. Joc Pederson and Carl Crawford hit back-to-back doubles and Chase Utley followed with an RBI single.
MIXING PLEASURE WITH BUSINESS
Two hours after arriving on a red-eye flight from Tampa on Thursday morning, Puig and 1B Adrian Gonzalez boarded a boat to go salmon fishing in Lake Ontario.
Gonzalez caught a 24-pound fish while Puig hooked a 19-pounder. After dining on his catch, Puig attended Thursday night's NBA playoff game between the Raptors and the Miami Heat. Before Friday's game, Puig was 1,100 feet above Toronto on the CN Tower Edge Walk attraction. Puig posted photos on Twitter of his fishing trip, and his daredevil walk around the CN Tower.
Storen got the call in the ninth because Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was sidelined with a sore groin. Osuna is expected to be available Saturday.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (left shoulder surgery) threw between 50 and 60 pitches off the mound at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. Manager Dave Roberts said Ryu will need to throw once more before beginning a minor league rehab assignment. ... RHP Mike Bolsinger (strained left oblique) will begin a rehab assignment next week, Roberts said.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki got the day off. Tulowitzki has three hits in his past 33 at-bats.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 1.96) makes his first career start against the Blue Jays on Saturday. Kershaw leads the majors in strikeouts (54) and innings pitched (46). He's 10-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 25 career interleague starts.
Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (1-3, 5.73) is winless in his past five starts, going 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in that span. Dickey is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four career appearances against the Dodgers.