Smoak Show: Slugger Justin Smoak hits two-run shot and grand slam in Jays’ win

TORONTO — Justin Smoak hit a grand slam in the eighth inning — his second home run of the day — to power the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-4 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday.

After Josh Donaldson was intentionally walked to load the bases, Smoak worked a full count against reliever David Robertson (0-1) before launching a blast over the centre-field wall.

The Toronto slugger also hit a two-run homer in the seventh and had three of Toronto’s 12 hits.

Tyler Clippard worked an inning of relief for the win and Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth for his first save. Toronto’s second straight win salvaged a split of the four-game season-opening series at Rogers Centre.

Brandon Drury hit a two-run homer in New York’s four-run third inning.

Toronto starter Marcus Stroman was on a pitch count after being hampered by a right shoulder injury at spring training. He laboured through a 21-pitch first inning — walking a pair — before escaping with back-to-back strikeouts.

The Blue Jays (2-2) put runners on the corners with nobody out in the bottom half of the frame against Sonny Gray but couldn’t push a run across.

Devon Travis led off with a walk and moved to third on an infield single by Donaldson. Gray responding by fanning the next three batters.

Toronto’s Russell Martin tested the throwing arm of right-fielder Aaron Judge in the second inning. Gift Ngoepe singled to right but Judge fired a one-hopper to the plate to get Martin for the second out.

Kevin Pillar moved to third on the play and scored on a Travis single.

Stroman opened the third inning by striking out Brett Gardner and Judge. But a walk to Giancarlo Stanton and three straight hits proved costly.

Didi Gregorius doubled to bring home Stanton and Neil Walker followed with an RBI single. Drury then turned on an 0-2 pitch for his first homer of the season.

Gray was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to Smoak in the fifth inning. The right-hander allowed one earned run, seven hits and three walks while striking out eight.

Stroman allowed four earned runs over five innings. He allowed three hits, three walks and had eight strikeouts.

Donaldson walked in the seventh inning before Smoak hit his first homer of the season on a 1-0 pitch from Tommy Kahnle.

In the eighth, Martin led off with a single and moved to third base when Aledmys Diaz doubled. Donaldson was walked before Smoak hit his second career grand slam.

Danny Barnes, John Axford, Tyler Clippard (1-0) and Oh each worked an inning of scoreless relief for the Blue Jays. The game took three hours three minutes to play.

Toronto will close out its seven-game homestand with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox starting Monday night.

Notes: Freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He won gold in the men’s moguls competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics. … The White Sox have tabbed right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (0-0) to make the start Monday night. Left-hander Jaime Garcia (0-0) is slated to make his Blue Jays debut. He signed a US$10-million, one-year deal with Toronto in the off-season. … New York (2-2) will play its home opener Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays. It will be the 116th home opener in franchise history.

Just Posted

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

The Latest: Cosby judge weighs hearing on ‘predator’ status

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing (all times… Continue reading

Mystery around disappearance of Chinese star Fan Bingbing

BEIJING — X-Men star Fan Bingbing’s Beijing management office is dark and… Continue reading

Will Smith bungee jump is latest stunt near Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — At the end of the 1991 movie “Thelma &… Continue reading

Score! Scrabble dictionary adds ‘OK,’ ‘ew’ to official play

NEW YORK — Scrabble players, time to rethink your game because 300… Continue reading

Actor James Woods bashes Twitter after getting locked out

MINNEAPOLIS — Actor James Woods has been locked out of his Twitter… Continue reading

Mandela: A life of soaring symbolism, now harnessed by UN

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela’s South African journey from anti-apartheid leader to prisoner… Continue reading

The Latest: UN leader calls drug problem ‘alarming’

CAMEROON, Cameroon — The Latest on the United Nations General Assembly (all… Continue reading

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived at the… Continue reading

Most Read