Toronto Blue Jays

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AL EAST -

Justin Smoak’s

three-run homer against the Yan­kees on July 6 was his third home run in seven games af­ter he hit just one in his pre­vi­ous 24 games. In his last 13 games through July 8 he was hitting .325 with a 1.113 OPS (on-base plus slug­ging per­cent­age).

“(My) tim­ing has been a lit­tle bet­ter,” Smoak said. “Try­ing not to do too much, and that’s what hap­pens.”

Although he be­gan the week with only a .241 bat­ting av­er­age for the sea­son, he led AL first base­men with 52 walks and a .362 on-base per­cent­age.

“I know what he means to us and to me,” man­ager

said. “He re­ally turned it on last year for us . ... He’s started to heat up again a lit­tle bit.”

❚ Gib­bons’ mother, Sal­lie, threw out the cer­e­mo­nial first pitch to her son July 6. She told Sport­sNet throw­ing out a first pitch had been on her “bucket list” for a long time, and on her 80th birth­day last month she told her son, “John, I won’t be here for­ever. Bet­ter do it now.”

John Gib­bons

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