Sanchez stellar through 7 as Jays topple Padres
San Diego loses 4-2 in first trip to Toronto, Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Pillar, Travis get RBIs
TORONTO — Aaron Sanchez was dominant once again as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the San Diego Padres, 4-2, in interleague baseball action Monday night.
Sanchez (11-1), who pitched in the all-star game earlier in the month, allowed just three hits over seven innings. He also struck out seven batters, four of whom went down looking.
Jason Grilli, Bo Schultz and Roberto Osuna, who picked up his 21st save, combined to close out the game. Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis had RBIs for the Blue Jays (56-44).
It was the seventh-straight start that Sanchez had allowed two or fewer runs. He has accomplished that feat in nine of his previous 10 starts.
The game also marked Jose Bautista’s return to the lineup. The right-fielder missed 30 games because of turf toe in his right big toe, an injury he suffered on June 16 in Philadelphia. He walked and singled in four plate appearances.
Alex Dickerson had three of the Padres’ (43-57) five hits, including a two-run home run off of Schultz in the ninth inning that reached the upper deck.
This was the first time the Padres had ever played a game in Toronto. Now all 30 Major League teams have visited the other 29 teams at least once. Toronto has played three series in San Diego.
Sanchez did not allow a hit that left the infield until the seventh inning, when Dickerson led off with a double. Before that, Dickerson and Yangervis Solarte had managed meek infield singles. Other than that, Sanchez cruised. When the Padres made contact at all, it was weak. Harmless pop outs and grounders were the norm. Sanchez lowered his earned-run average to 2.72, the second-lowest mark in the American League.
The Blue Jays did not record a hit through three innings off of Colin Rea (5-5). When they broke through, however, the hard-hit balls came in quick succession.
Michael Saunders tripled for Toronto’s first hit of the game in the fourth inning, and then Tulowitzki hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track that San Diego centrefielder Travis Janowski had to leap to catch. Russell Martin then sent a ball to the warning track in the next at-bat.
Pillar laced a double to the gap to lead off the fifth inning, and Travis doubled him home on a broken-bat drive. Donaldson singled home Travis two batters later.
Pillar, who had three of the Blue Jays’ nine hits, doubled home Tulowitzki in the eighth inning.