Solarte hits go-ahead homer, Blue Jays sweep woeful Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays' Yangervis Solarte, center, celebrates his two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles with teammate Devon Travis during eighth-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
By IAN HARRISON
TORONTO (AP) Yangervis Solarte broke out of his slump in a big way.
Solarte hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Baltimore 5-4 on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep of the struggling Orioles.
"We did the little things in that inning and we're happy that we got that win," Solarte said through a translator.
Hitless in 19 at-bats coming in, Solarte went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. His fourth-inning double was his first extra-base hit since July 4.
"I feel like we're taking good at(equals)bats, putting good swings on balls," Grichuk said. "I'm definitely liking where we're at coming off the break."
Toronto is 9-1 against the Orioles this season, including seven straight wins.
Baltimore has lost 20 of its last 25 and is a big league-worst 28-72. The Orioles were swept in a three-game series for the eighth time this season and have been swept in three four-game series, including at Toronto in early June.
"We're juggling a lot of balls here," manager Buck Showalter said. "You're jugging trades, you're juggling development, you're juggling trying to win games."
Toronto trailed 4-1 before Grichuk homered off Brach. Justin Smoak singled, Kendrys Morales grounded out and Showalter brought in left-hander Tanner Scott (1-2) to face Solarte, who connected on a 3-1 fastball for his 17th home run and seventh go-ahead drive.
John Axford (4-1) won despite a two-run top of the eighth that included Renato Nunez's RBI double and a run-scoring error by second baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who collided with shortstop Aledmus Diaz on Trey Mancini's grounder near the second-base bag. Tyler Clippard finished for his seventh save in 13 chances.
Jonathan Schoop hit a solo home run for the Orioles, and Trumbo had two hits and reached base three times.
Toronto's J.A. Happ struck out six of his first eight batters and nine over five innings. Winless in a season-high four straight starts, he allowed one run and four hits.
"The changeup was big today," Happ said. "I got a lot of swings on that."
Making his first start since July 10 after recovering from a strained neck, Andrew Cashner allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Unaware that he was on a pitch count, Cashner reacted angrily when Showalter came out to remove him. The two had a brief postgame chat. "It's his decision," Cashner said. "I have to respect that. I've just got to make pitches."
Happ and Houston's Justin Verlander are the only two big league pitchers to strike out nine and walk none on four occasions this season. The only other Blue Jays player to have four such games in a season was Roger Clemens, who did it five times in 1997.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (strained left gluteal muscle) is to make a rehab start at Double-A New Hampshire on Monday. The Blue Jays had hoped Estrada would come off the 10-day DL Monday to start against Minnesota. ... Toronto activated Gurriel Jr. off the 7-day concussion DL and optioned INF Richard Urena to Triple-A Buffalo.
Blue Jays: RHP reliever Luis Santos (0-0, 7.88) will start Monday's game against the Twins. LHP Adalberto Mejia is expected to be promoted from Triple-A Rochester to start for Minnesota. Mejia has made one start for the Twins this season.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Updated July 22, 2018