MIAMI — Regardless of how Ricky Romero has pitched, he’s been provided with plenty of run support.
Jose Bautista homered and drove in three runs, Kelly Johnson also had three RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays backed Romero handsomely in a 12-5 victory over the skidding Miami Marlins on Friday night.
“I’ve been lucky,” Romero said. “The hitters have done their part every time I’ve pitched it seems like.”
Toronto had supported Romero (8-1) with an average of 9.16 runs per game entering Friday, which put him third in the majors. He did not have his best stuff against the Marlins, allowing four runs, seven hits and four walks. But he did give the Blue Jays seven much-needed innings after Toronto placed three starters on the disabled list in the last week.
“It’s been a grind, it honestly has,” Romero said. “Nothing has come easy for me this year. It’s no secret. I’m battling, grinding and trying to do everything possible to get deep in the game.”
Kyle Drabek was lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Drew Hutchison (elbow sprain) and Brandon Marrow (strained rib cage muscle) also went on the DL.
Brett Lawrie had three hits and scored four times to help the Blue Jays end an eight-game losing streak to the Marlins, who own a 17-5 advantage in the series.
“I’m seeing the ball well and just trying to get on base for the guys behind me to allow them to do their job,” Lawrie said.
Miami has lost five straight and 14 of 16 overall. It’s been a stark contrast from May when the Marlins went 21-8, setting a franchise record for wins in a month.
“I’d rather lose 2-1 because I have a chance,” Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said. “That means we’re pitching well but we’re not hitting.”
Giancarlo Stanton, Omar Infante and Gaby Sanchez homered for the Marlins.
“Nothing’s fair now,” Stanton said. “That’s pretty much the story. It’s either nothing, or one or the other. We’ve got to turn it all at the same time.”
Lawrie led off the game with a triple down the right-field line and scored on a groundout by Colby Rasmus. Bautista singled home Lawrie in the third, and Johnson’s sacrifice fly scored Bautista.
“It was a very good offensive night again,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “Brett gets us started right out of the gate with a triple.”
Toronto chased Anibal Sanchez (3-6) in the fourth after the right-hander walked in a run with the bases loaded, giving the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead. Two more runs scored in the inning, both charged to Sanchez. He gave up six runs, seven hits and four walks in 3 1-3 innings.
“I wanted to help the team,” Sanchez said. “I know the situation right now with the team. I just want to do the best I can, like I do every time. I wanted to help the team get out of the hole we are in right now.”
Stanton’s homer and an RBI single by Hanley Ramirez cut the lead to 6-2 before the Blue Jays scored five more in the sixth off Ryan Webb, keyed by a two-run double from J.P. Arencibia. Johnson and Rajai Davis each had an RBI single in the inning and Yunel Escobar drove in a run with Toronto’s third sacrifice fly.
Bautista’s 419-foot homer to left was his 23rd of the season and 11th in the past 18 games.
Infante’s two-run shot was his first since May 8. Sanchez’s only other home run came on April 26.
NOTES: Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos confirmed that Hutchison has a sprained right elbow after the pitcher had additional tests, but Hutchison will not need Tommy John surgery. “He’s on a non-throwing program for four to six weeks,” Anthopoulos said. “At that point, then he can start a normal throwing program. In terms of coming back, if it’s six weeks that he doesn’t throw, then he’s going to start throwing again and get ready, you’re probably looking at September.” … The Blue Jays have made an adjustment in their starting rotation. RHP Jesse Chavez will start Sunday against Miami and RHP Henderson Alvarez will start Monday against Boston. … Marlins CF Emilio Bonifacio (sprained left thumb) took 25 swings from the left side for the first time since his May 18 injury and did not have any pain. Although he would like to return sooner, Bonifacio is still expected to be out until after the All-Star break. … ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale was in attendance. … U.S. soccer standout Jozy Altidore threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Altidore will play in the World Soccer Masters Tour game at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday. … Miami will send RHP Josh Johnson (4-5, 4.18 ERA) to the mound Saturday to face LHP Brett Cecil (1-0, 3.60). Johnson is 6-1 with a 2.06 ERA in his last 10 interleague starts.