Martin muscles 1st-place Blue Jays over Angels

Martin muscles 1st-place Blue Jays over Angels

TORONTO -- Russell Martin continued his torrid hitting to pace Toronto's offense, while R.A. Dickey notched another strong outing to lead the Blue Jays over the Angels, 7-2, on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Though he'd normally receive a day off with Dickey on the mound, Martin went 3-for-3 out of the DH spot and drove in a pair of runs to help the Blue Jays open their six-game homestand with a victory. Michael Saunders also added his 21st home run of the season, while Troy Tulowitzki continued his strong August with an RBI double as part of Toronto's 10-hit attack.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Angels on Tuesday.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey guts out win to continue strong August

Right-hander overcomes 'mediocre' knuckleball in victory over Angels

Dickey guts out win to continue strong August

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' rotation has been a strong spot all season, and it has the potential to be even better with a strong final stretch from R.A. Dickey.

The 41-year-old knuckleballer continued his solid August with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball on Tuesday, helping the Blue Jays open a critical six-game homestand with a 7-2 victory over the Angels.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bautista due to return from DL Thursday

Bautista due to return from DL Thursday

TORONTO -- Outfielder Jose Bautista is expected to make his return from the disabled list when first eligible on Thursday, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Bautista has been sidelined since Aug. 9 with a left knee sprain after twisting it on a throw from right field. According to Gibbons, the 35-year-old is expected to see plenty of time as the designated hitter down the stretch.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pillar activated after first DL stint; Tepera optioned

Pillar activated after first DL stint; Tepera optioned

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays activated outfielder Kevin Pillar from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Angels.

Pillar had been out since Aug. 6 with a sprained left thumb he sustain while sliding headfirst into second base against the Royals, and the stint was his first Major League appearance on the DL. To make room on the 25-man roster, Toronto optioned right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera to Triple-A Buffalo.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Estrada set to face Shoemaker, Angels

Estrada set to face Shoemaker, Angels

Matt Shoemaker will look to win back-to-back starts for the first time since mid-July when he gets the ball on Wednesday night in the second game of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

The 29-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits over seven innings while striking out five his last time out in a 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. Shoemaker (7-13, 4.14 ERA) is 1-1 in two career appearances against the Blue Jays with a 8.38 ERA. Shoemaker was charged with the loss in his lone career start against Toronto on May 21, 2015.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays option All-Star Sanchez to Minor Leagues

Toronto makes move since right-hander was going to have start skipped

Blue Jays option All-Star Sanchez to Minor Leagues

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays have found a creative way to limit Aaron Sanchez's workload this season by deciding to option the powerful right-hander to Class A Advanced Dunedin on Sunday.

The move is designed to protect Sanchez, who has tossed a career-high 156 1/3 innings this season. Toronto's goal is to have Sanchez finish the year in the starting rotation, and the hope is that a little breather now will help that become a reality.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays let Tribe rally after Stroman exits

Blue Jays let Tribe rally after Stroman exits

CLEVELAND -- Everyone in the ballpark knew it was gone as soon as it left his bat. Jose Ramirez's eighth-inning, two-run blast over the wall in left lifted the Indians past the Blue Jays, 3-2, in Sunday's series finale at Progressive Field.

According to Statcast™, Ramirez's homer off Jays reliever Brett Cecil went an estimated 401 feet with an exit velocity of 104 mph. It was his 10th home run of the season, with six of them coming in the eighth or ninth inning. It pushed the Tribe past Toronto in the rubber game between two first-place clubs in a potential postseason preview.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Greene among top prospect performers Monday

Dodgers No. 2 prospect flirts with no-hitter; Giants' No. 22 stays hot with multi-homer game

Greene among top prospect performers Monday

Since beginning his season in early May, Jose De Leon has been making a strong case for a late-season promotion to the Major Leagues.

The Dodgers' No. 2 prospect took another step towards achieving that goal on Monday, when he struck out 10 hitters over seven scoreless innings to pace Triple-A Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of New Orleans. He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before surrendering a leadoff single to Marlins No. 11 prospect J.T. Riddle. It was the only hit the right-hander allowed in the contest. De Leon also induced eight ground-ball outs while throwing 66 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

High-leverage situations a struggle for Cecil

Blue Jays left-hander allows go-ahead home run in loss to Indians

High-leverage situations a struggle for Cecil

CLEVELAND -- Brett Cecil's disappointing season went from bad to worse as his struggles continued in another late-inning loss to the Indians.

Cecil was called upon in the eighth inning to protect a one-run lead on Sunday afternoon, but he ended up surrendering a two-run homer to Jose Ramirez. That proved to be the breaking point in Toronto's 3-2 loss in the series finale at Progressive Field.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guerrero, Smith among top prospect performers Sunday

Brewers' No. 4 prospect strikes out 12, White Sox's No. 8 flirts with no-hitter

Guerrero, Smith among top prospect performers Sunday

Finding success at the Triple-A level hasn't come easily for Josh Hader. At least not until Sunday night, when the Brewers' No. 4 prospect set a career high by striking out 12 hitters in six scoreless innings to pace Colorado Springs in a 6-0 shutout of Round Rock. He threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing just two hits and one walk to record his first Triple-A win in 12 starts.

Ranked No. 39 on the Top 100, Hader has pitched better for Colorado Springs than his 1-5 record and 4.79 ERA suggest. With his performance Sunday, the 22-year-old left-hander now has fanned 81 hitters in 62 innings since being promoted from Double-A Biloxi on June 11, and he's yielded just three home runs in that span. Hader has thrown the ball particularly well of late, too, registering a 2.88 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings across his past six turns.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto rides trio of HRs to edge Tribe

Toronto rides trio of HRs to edge Tribe

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays muscled their way past the Indians with a 6-5 victory in the latest clash of two first-place teams. Toronto blasted a trio of home runs to top Cleveland in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night at Progressive Field.

All three Toronto homers came off Tribe righty Josh Tomlin, who was on the hook for the loss. Russell Martin and Melvin Upton Jr. each went yard off the right-hander in the third to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Edwin Encarnacion took Tomlin deep with a solo shot to left to break a 5-5 deadlock in the fifth. Tomlin lasted 4 1/3 frames, in which he allowed six runs on nine hits.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roberto's redemption: Closer bounces back

Young righty retires part of Tribe lineup that gave him trouble day before for save No. 28

Roberto's redemption: Closer bounces back

CLEVELAND -- Roberto Osuna only had to wait 24 hours to get the redemption he was looking for against the Indians.

One night after blowing a save in the series opener, Osuna was back on the mound and put the finishing touches on a 6-5 Toronto victory over Cleveland on Saturday. In an ironic twist, it also came against the same part of the order that caused so much difficulty the night before.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martin's HR, Liriano's solid 6 not enough

Martin's HR, Liriano's solid 6 not enough

CLEVELAND -- For the second straight night, Tyler Naquin is the hero in the second consecutive Indians walk-off. The rookie outfielder scored on an inside-the-park home run to top Toronto, 3-2, on Friday night at Progressive Field in a battle between two first-place teams.

Jose Ramirez gave the the Indians life in the home half of the ninth with a one-out solo shot to right off Blue Jays righty Roberto Osuna. Naquin followed suit, lifting one off the wall in right before racing around the bases.
 

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Happ's MLB-best 17th win spurs Blue Jays

Happ's MLB-best 17th win spurs Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- When J.A. Happ pitches well, the Blue Jays win. When the offense shows off its potential, the Blue Jays win. When both happen, that's just a good day.

After scoring 12 unanswered runs in Tuesday's victory, the Toronto offense picked up right where it left off Wednesday afternoon, getting runners on base at a high rate and beating the Yankees, 7-4. Center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. provided the biggest blow, lacing a three-run home run over the short porch in right field in the Blue Jays' four-run fifth inning.

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Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays dismiss scouting director Parker

National crosschecker Davis also let go by organization

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have continued to shake up their front office by dismissing director of amateur scouting Brian Parker and national crosschecker Blake Davis.

Parker joined the Blue Jays in 2009, when he came over from the Nationals organization. He spent time as a scout and a crosschecker before being promoted to the director of amateur scouting position in '12.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Osuna has rare off night in tough loss to Tribe

Righty allows 2 homers in game for 1st time in career

Osuna has rare off night in tough loss to Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Roberto Osuna has been almost perfect this season, but like everyone, he has moments of weakness. And on Friday night, that was all it took to send the Blue Jays to a crushing loss.

Osuna surrendered back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Indians walked off in dramatic fashion. A solo home run by Jose Ramirez and an inside-the-park homer by Tyler Naquin, and just like that, a 2-1 victory turned into a 3-2 loss.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thumb injury caps eventful day for Donaldson

Third baseman day to day, laughs off verbal incident with manager Gibbons

Thumb injury caps eventful day for Donaldson

NEW YORK -- Josh Donaldson is considered day to day after he was removed during the sixth inning of Wednesday's 7-4 victory over the Yankees because of a jammed right thumb. Donaldson's departure was unrelated to a verbal altercation that he appeared to have with manager John Gibbons earlier in the game.

Donaldson struck out in the top of the third inning, and after returning to the dugout, he slammed his bat in frustration. Gibbons then approached Donaldson and the two exchanged words, at one point going face to face during the apparent disagreement. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and backup catcher Josh Thole separated the two, and the situation never got physical.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays storm back to stun Yankees

Blue Jays storm back to stun Yankees

NEW YORK -- After a rain delay, the Blue Jays scored 12 unanswered runs against the Yankees to erase a six-run deficit and reclaim sole possession of first place in the American League East with a 12-6 victory at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.

With his team trailing by two runs, Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a clutch home run in the eighth inning off relief pitcher Adam Warren, driving in Josh Donaldson, who drew a 12-pitch walk just two pitches earlier. Three batters later, Russell Martin broke the tie, unleashing his second home run of the game, scoring Troy Tulowitzki and giving the Blue Jays a two-run lead. Tulowitzki and Martin combined for six hits, five RBIs and three home runs.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back in the Bronx, Martin mashes for Toronto

Last three multihomer games for Blue Jays catcher have come at Yankee Stadium

Back in the Bronx, Martin mashes for Toronto

NEW YORK -- Russell Martin might be Canadian, but it's pretty evident that he loves playing in the Big Apple.

Martin picked up the 12th multihomer game of his career in the Blue Jays' dramatic come-from-behind, 12-6 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night. Each of his last three multihomer games have come at Yankee Stadium, a place he called home from 2011-12.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

3-RBI night puts Encarnacion 1st to 100 RBIs

Blue Jays slugger comes up big in comeback victory vs. Yankees

3-RBI night puts Encarnacion 1st to 100 RBIs

NEW YORK -- On the big stage at Yankee Stadium, in the middle of a pennant race, Edwin Encarnacion ensured he stood out from the rest of the pack by becoming the first player in the Major Leagues to reach 100 RBIs.

Encarnacion went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in Toronto's 12-6 victory on Tuesday night. A two-run shot brought his total to 99, and he later hit the 100-RBI plateau for the fourth time in his career with a fielder's choice.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays activate Carrera, designate Lake

Blue Jays activate Carrera, designate Lake

The Blue Jays activated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday night's game against the Yankees.

Carrera had been out since July 31 with a strained left Achilles' tendon. Outfielder Junior Lake was designated for assignment to make room for Carrera on the 25-man active roster.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McBroom among top prospect performers Tuesday

Yankees' No. 7 prospect hurls six scoreless; White Sox No. 8 tosses five hitless frames

McBroom among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justus Sheffield seems to like pitching in pinstripes. The Yankees' No. 7 prospect spun another gem Tuesday night and has been lights out since the organization acquired him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Sheffield led Class A Advanced Tampa to a 1-0 win over Clearwater with six scoreless innings.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donaldson really likes Zebra Cakes and Bryce Harper's hair

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Donaldson really likes Zebra Cakes and Bryce Harper's hair

Yes, Josh Donaldson is a professional baseball player. He is the reigning American League MVP. He's batting .291/.400/.562 with 28 home runs so far in 2016. But deep down, he is just like you and me: He, too, has a weakness for Little Debbie snack cakes.

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WHL team will wear Blue Jays jerseys

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WHL team will wear Blue Jays jerseys

On Jan. 6, 2017, the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League will honor Canada's only Major League team and foster baseball-hockey diplomacy by donning Blue Jays-style jerseys when they take on the Calgary Hitmen (sadly not the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of XFL fame). 

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Blue Jays held off the board in loss to Yanks

Blue Jays held off the board in loss to Yanks

NEW YORK -- Thanks in large part to two players who were teammates in Triple-A as recently as four days ago, the Yankees took another step toward pushing their way into the postseason conversation.

Behind six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Chad Green and an RBI double from rookie right fielder Aaron Judge, the Yankees held off the Blue Jays, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium. Judge's double gave him an extra-base hit and an RBI for the third straight game to open his career, making him the first player in American League history to achieve such a feat. He's also the first player in Yankees history to record an extra-base hit in each of his first three career games.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

K's lead to rare shutout for Blue Jays' bats

Toronto strikes out 13 times during loss to Yankees

K's lead to rare shutout for Blue Jays' bats

NEW YORK -- Strikeouts have been an issue for the Blue Jays all season, and the lack of contact became a problem once again in the series opener vs. the Yankees.

Toronto struck out 13 times and had just three hits in a 1-0 loss on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the first time the Blue Jays were held off the scoreboard since June 13 and the fifth time this season. They rank third in the American League with 1,012 strikeouts.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Home-plate umpire exits Blue Jays-Yanks game

Home-plate umpire exits Blue Jays-Yanks game

NEW YORK -- Home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt exited Monday's series opener between the Yankees and Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium after taking a foul ball to his face mask in the bottom of the second inning.

Yankees athletic trainer Steve Donohue came out to check on Wendelstedt after he was hit by a Brian McCann foul ball, but Wendelstedt finished off the inning. Wendelstedt did not come back out for the third, though. Second-base umpire Scott Barry replaced Wendelstedt at home and the game continued without a second-base umpire. New York won the game, 1-0.

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Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Canadian rakin': Tulo leads Blue Jays past Astros

Canadian rakin': Tulo leads Blue Jays past Astros

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are known for hitting home runs. Just ask the Astros' pitching staff.

Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and Edwin Encarnacion went deep as Toronto's offense carried the club to a 9-2 victory over Houston on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Marcus Stroman picked up the victory after tossing 6 1/3 innings.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Astros on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.