LEADING OFF: Night moves for Tanaka; Blue Jays go batty

Posted May 31, 2017

Not since Edwin Encarnacion's days has the Rogers Centre crowd seen a home run like the one Josh Donaldson belted in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

With Stroman taking to the bump in just a few hours to come, it is good to note that he has pitched in ten games so far this season, six of which have bee referred to as "quality", while his lineup has averaged 5.6 runs per game with the 26-year-old youngster on the mound. Jose Bautista has been a driving force in the resurgence, hitting.320 with nine homers with 21 RBIs following a miserable April.

With three more runs allowed in the fourth and fifth, Stephenson exited with 10 hits in two innings of work, allowing seven runs (six earned) in the process.

The Blue Jays led 2-1 in the second after the fourth homer of the season by Martin, a drive just over the wall in the right-field corner that followed a single by Smoak. After that, the Blue Jays will welcome the New York Yankees on Thursday for the start of a key four-game tilt against the club that now occupies first place in the A.L. East. Toronto, on the other hand, last made a visit in Cincinnati back in 2014 when the Reds took two out of a three-game series played at Great American Ball Park.

Cozart cut into Toronto's lead with a solo homer off Danny Barnes in the fifth inning.

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Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer and Russell Martin added a two-run shot for the Blue Jays, who have 43 home runs in May. Votto was presented with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Tip O'Neill Award before the game. He also had an RBI single in the first inning. He's given up two homers in the first inning five times. Donaldson's smash was estimated to have travelled 435 feet, Bautista's 431 and Martin's 411.

Hours after the Mets ticketed him for the bullpen, rookie Robert Gsellman pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and had two RBIs to lead NY past the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2. It was Cozart's third career two-homer game.

Votto, a four-time all-star, is enjoying another strong season.

It may have been Votto's homecoming, but it was another Toronto-born, 2002 draft pick who had a more memorable night.

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With some generous help from that non household name - Reds starter Lisalverto Bonilla - and a struggling reliever, Robert Stephenson, the Jays blew this non-contest wide open in the third inning. After allowing a first-inning run manufactured by the incomparable wheels of Billy Hamilton, the right-hander didn't let the Reds get an improbable comeback attempt off the ground.

He is 3-3 with a 5.44 ERA in eight career starts against Cincinnati. To make room for him on the active roster, Dominic Leone was sent back to the minors. RHP Mat Latos was released from Triple-A.

Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 in a wild ending.

Ezequiel Carrera went 4-for-4 with a walk and Devon Travis had four hits, extending his hitting streak to 13, as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games.

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