TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have been on a roll of late, and Edwin Encarnacion did his part to continue that trend on Friday night.
Encarnacion hit two home runs — including a grand slam — as the Blue Jays routed the Texas Rangers 12-2.
"The one thing I like is we play like a team, everybody playing together," said Encarnacion. "We play like we used to play, like we’re supposed to play right now and play like a team. Everybody is doing their part — with pitching, with hitting, with defence — everything together.
"That’s why we’re winning games"
Encarnacion got a hold of a Nick Martinez pitch and sent it over the centre field wall in the bottom of the first inning to give Toronto a 4-1 lead.
He then added his 16th homer of the season in the seventh for his 20th multi-home run game of his career.
Toronto (40-35) has now won nine of 11 against Texas (37-37) and three of four overall.
Mark Buehrle (9-4) tossed seven innings allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out five in the win.
"When you get ten runs scored for you, 10-plus runs, it makes it a lot easier," said Buehrle. "You can go out there and you know if you make a mistake, and they hit it out of the park or get on base, it’s not the end of the world so it definitely makes it easier to pitch."
Martinez (5-5) went six innings allowing eight earned runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking four.
After Martinez walked Jose Bautista to load the bases, Encarnacion knocked his seventh career slam. Encarnacion joins Devon Travis as the second Blue Jay to hit a grand slam this season.
"He’s having a good, solid season but he hasn’t really caught fire like we’ve seen him in the past," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "I think he will. He went on an incredible roll last year in May and then hurt his leg and things like that. He keeps battling.
"Every time he steps in the box, he’s got a chance to go deep and that’s not a good feeling on the other side."
Kevin Pillar added to Toronto’s lead in the second, leading off with a double and later scoring on a ground out by Jose Reyes. Travis gave Toronto a 6-2 lead after scoring on a bloop single by Josh Donaldson.
Russell Martin, of Montreal, hit his 11th home run of the season in the third, which gave Toronto a 7-2 lead. Danny Valencia also homered for the Jays.
Chris Colabello’s double scored Bautista giving Toronto an 8-2 lead in the fifth. Colabello would later score on a sac fly from Martin.
Prince Fielder got Texas on the board with a solo shot in the first. The home run was the 300th of Fielder’s career. Prince and Cecil Fielder join Barry and Bobby Bonds as the only other father-son duo to have 300 home runs each.
"That’s pretty good company," said Fielder. "I’d like to get some more. I’m definitely happy about it. Obviously it shows I’ve been able to stay in the game for a while. I’m very happy with that."
Elvis Andrus walked and scored in the second cutting the Jays lead to 4-2, but that’s as close as the Rangers would get.
Note: Following the game the Blue Jays optioned LHP Rob Rasmussen to triple-A Buffalo and selected the contract of LHP Matt Boyd. Boyd will make his major league debut on Saturday.