Kevin Pillar’s three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth broke the deadlock as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Friday night at the Rogers Centre.
Jose Bautista launched his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot, to put the Blue Jays ahead for the first time in the sixth inning.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman was locked in until the very end of his outing, but lasted seven strong innings with two earned runs allowed on eight hits. Stroman struck out eight batters and forced ten ground ball outs, not allowing a single out via the fly ball.
Darwin Barney went 2-for-3 on the night, bringing his average to .333 on the young season.
Gavin Floyd took the eighth inning in relief, pitching a clean frame. Drew Storen took the ninth inning instead of closer Roberto Osuna, looking unsteady once again. After loading the bases, Storen finally forced a fly-out to end the game.
For the Dodgers, Kenta Maeda struck out seven batters over six innings, walking four and allowing two earned runs on the Bautista homer.
Russell Martin threw out Carl Crawford attempting to steal a base in the third inning. The Blue Jays’ catcher is now 3-for-11 against stolen base attempts in 2016.
Friday’s defensive highlight, however, went to Yasiel Puig in right field. With Barney sliding into second base, Puig delivered a rocket straight to the glove and Barney’s hand arrived a moment later.
Troy Tulowitzki was given a regular day of rest and is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon to face Clayton Kershaw.
Prior to the game, the Blue Jays promoted Andy Burns from triple-A Buffalo and optioned relief pitcher Ryan Tepera back to the Bisons. This leaves Toronto with a four man bench and seven man bullpen.