Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion follows through on a grand slam as Texas Rangers' Chris Gimenez watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Wednesday

Blue Jays roll past Rangers

Edwin Encarnacion turned David Price’s 30th birthday into a party — and a win for Toronto’s new ace. Encarnacion hit a grand slam to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, boosting Price when he was pitching on his birthday for the first time in the majors and helping the Blue Jays to a 12-4 victory against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Edwin Encarnacion turned David Price’s 30th birthday into a party — and a win for Toronto’s new ace.

Encarnacion hit a grand slam to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, boosting Price when he was pitching on his birthday for the first time in the majors and helping the Blue Jays to a 12-4 victory against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

The right-handed slugger pulled a pitch into the Toronto bullpen in left-centre for his 26th homer after Kevin Pillar opened a six-run sixth inning with a long ball that chased Texas starter Colby Lewis (14-6).

Lewis issued four of a season-high 11 walks by Rangers pitchers.

Price (13-4) threw five scoreless innings after allowing Adrian Beltre’s two-run homer in the first. While he was still struggling in the third, he got help on a spectacular, leaping catch at the wall in left field by Ben Revere that saved a run.

“After we got out of that inning, I told him that’s hands down the best birthday gift that I had ever received,” Price said. “It’s a coin flip between that and 12 runs.”

The AL East-leading Blue Jays won their fifth straight, while the Rangers dropped a half-game behind Minnesota in the race for the second AL wild card.

Jose Bautista walked four times and scored twice as Toronto went two games up in the division on the New York Yankees, who lost 6-2 to Houston. The Astros moved 5 1/2 games ahead of Texas atop the AL West.

Lewis threw two of three wild pitches by the Rangers — both during a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with former Texas player Justin Smoak’s two-run homer to break a 2-all tie in the fifth inning.

Smoak’s 13th long ball hit off the facade of the upper deck in right field and extended Toronto’s franchise record to 16 straight road games with a homer.

Encarnacion’s second grand slam of the season — both against the Rangers — and the eighth of his career ended a stretch of six straight batters reaching to start the sixth. Pillar’s eighth homer was one of his three hits.

“We’ve been waiting for Eddie to break out in a big way,” manager John Gibbons said. “I’m seeing it now. I think he’s feeling it like the rest of the guys.”

After Texas reliever Spencer Patton walked two and didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced, Sam Freeman walked four more.

Anthony Bass had a wild pitch that scored Troy Tulowitzki for a 12-2 lead in the seventh as Toronto set a club record with its 20th game of at least 10 runs.

“We helped them out tonight with 11 walks,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “I know they hit the three home runs. But the reality is, we can’t walk 11. That’s unacceptable.”

Price retired the last nine hitters he faced after the Rangers started the fourth with a single by Mike Napoli and a walk to Elvis Andrus, who was celebrating his 27th birthday. The left-hander is 4-0 in five starts since the Blue Jays acquired him from Detroit the day before the July 31 trade deadline.

It was Price’s second straight win in Texas, where he had a 7.36 ERA in five starts coming in. He allowed five hits and two runs with eight strikeouts in his first appearance at the Rangers since a complete game in Tampa Bay’s 5-2 victory in an AL wild-card tiebreaker in 2013.

Beltre put Texas ahead 2-0 with his 407th homer, tying Duke Snider at No. 51 on the career list. Shin-Soo Choo had a two-run single among his three hits.

Lewis, going for a career high in wins, allowed six hits and five runs — four earned — in five innings.

Just Posted

WATCH: Parkland Garden Centre hosts weekly Craft and Market Sale

A weekly event hosted by the Parkland Nurseries Garden Centre gives Red… Continue reading

Red Deer region’s unemployment drops in November

Provincially and Canada-wide November jobless rate increased

Red Deer loses out on funding for addiction clinic

$8 million divided among eight communities

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

EDMONTON — A defence lawyer says a man who is accused of… Continue reading

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

OTTAWA — The federal government is giving the Alberta government a passing… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Woman, 58, dies after two vehicles collide with the same deer

NEEPAWA, Man. — RCMP say a 58-year-old woman is dead after a… Continue reading

B.C. treaty commissioner expects UNDRIP bill to speed treaty talks, more deals

VICTORIA — The often bumpy and slow path toward treaty making in… Continue reading

‘Kids will fall through the cracks:’ Advocates critical of child-welfare changes

WINNIPEG — Advocates for children and First Nations say the federal government… Continue reading

‘Mexico, US, Canada trade talks continue in Washington

WASHINGTON — Mexico’s top trade negotiator wrapped up an 11-hour meeting with… Continue reading

Singh reiterates support for Fredericton abortion clinic fighting to stay open

FREDERICTON — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh visited a Fredericton abortion clinic today… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $21 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $21 million jackpot… Continue reading

Somber ceremony recalls those killed in Pearl Harbor attack

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — More than 2,000 people attended a ceremony Saturday… Continue reading

Most Read