Efforts from Martin, Morales help Jays defeat White Sox 7-3
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (55) connects on a two-run home run off Chicago White Sox starter James Shields during sixth inning American League baseball action in Toronto, Sunday, June 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:33PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:40PM EDT
TORONTO -- Russell Martin hit a fluky two-run homer to tie the game and Kendrys Morales followed that up with a two-run blast as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Kevin Pillar had an RBI single and Ryan Goins drove in a run with a triple as Toronto (33-35) came back from a 3-0 deficit to avoid a sweep at the hands of the last-place White Sox.
J.A. Happ (2-4) struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings, but allowed eight hits and three runs. Danny Barnes pitched 1 1/3 inning of relief before Roberto Osuna came in for a scoreless ninth inning.
Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu had RBI singles in the fifth inning to build a 3-0 lead for Chicago (31-37). The White Sox saw their three-game win streak snapped.
James Shields (1-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and giving up three runs. Relievers Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings allowed two runs apiece and Michael Ynoa pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 inning. Swarzak (3-2) was charged with the loss.
Willy Garcia led off the fifth inning with a single to shallow right, and after a Kevan Smith basehit, Sanchez singled up the middle into centre field to score Garcia. A sacrifice bunt by Melky Cabrera advanced the runners to scoring position and then Abreu hit a single to centre field to make it 3-0.
Pillar replied for Toronto in the bottom of the inning, stroking a single to left field and driving in Steve Pearce from second base.
The Blue Jays tied it on a play in the bottom of the sixth that will likely make blooper reels all season -- Martin hit a deep fly ball to centre field that Garcia had to play right to the warning track. As the White Sox centre-fielder jumped up to catch the ball it bounced off his glove and over the wall to the delight of the 46,599 in attendance.
It was Martin's seventh homer of the season and cashed in Troy Tulowitzki as well to make it 3-3 and end Shields's game.
That jumpstarted a Blue Jays rally. Pearce hit a single to right field in the next at bat and then Goins hit a triple to drive him home for a 4-3 Toronto lead.
Morales added to that lead with a two-run blast to the second deck that bounced down into the Blue Jays bullpen in the next inning. Pearce's double to the left-field corner added another run as he drove in Tulowitzki and advanced Martin to third. A walk by Goins loaded the bases and Pillar followed that up with a hit to short that needed a video review to be called a force out to end the inning.
Osuna earned a strikeout, induced a ground out and fanned another for the 1-2-3 ninth inning.