With his triceps and blister issues seemingly behind him, Josh Johnson will try to help the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays continue their stunning turnaround.
The Blue Jays look to match a franchise record with their 11th straight victory Sunday when they host the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of this three-game series.
Toronto (37-36) rallied late for the second straight day as Jose Bautista 's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Blue Jays to Saturday's 4-2 victory.
Rajai Davis singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a 7-6 win Friday."It's been a great run and hopefully we can continue," said Bautista, whose team moved out of sole possession of last place in the AL East for the first time since late April.
The Blue Jays, above .500 for the first time since July 29, now turn to Johnson (0-2, 4.38 ERA) as they look to equal their franchise-best streak set in 1987 and matched in 1998.
The right-hander took two extra days off to let a bothersome blister heal before striking out a season-high 10 over 7 1-3 innings in a 2-0 win over Colorado on Monday."Definitely the most comfortable I've been," said Johnson, who also missed 31 games with a sore right triceps. "Just being able to get extension on all my pitches, not have to worry about the triceps or anything like that."
Johnson, who has never faced the Orioles (42-33), is 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 19 1-3 innings in three starts since returning from the disabled list.
However, he remains winless in seven starts with Toronto, having received only 13 runs of support.
The Blue Jays have been outstanding offensively during the winning streak, averaging 5.7 runs per game while hitting 18 homers and batting .333 with runners in scoring position.
They'll try to continue that production against scheduled starter Freddy Garcia (3-4, 4.80), who hopes to prevent Baltimore's first three-game losing streak since a season-high six-game slide May 14-20.
After going 1-2 with an 8.16 ERA in his last three starts, Garcia allowed two hits in one inning of scoreless relief in Wednesday's 13-3 win at Detroit.
Garcia has won his last two starts in Toronto, giving up four earned runs and 14 hits over 11 innings. He went five innings and yielded two earned runs and nine hits in Baltimore's 6-5 win there May 25.
Emilio Bonifacio homered off the right-hander in that contest, but enters this meeting in a 1-for-17 slump overall.
Adam Lind is 7 for 11 with two homers off Garcia and 20 for 40 with two home runs in his last 11 games against Baltimore.
Munenori Kawasaki , who provided a game-tying home run in the seventh inning Friday, is 9 for 19 with eight RBIs in his last five games versus the Orioles.
Baltimore slugger Chris Davis , the major league leader with 27 home runs, is 2 for 7 with a three-run homer in this series. He's never faced Johnson.
Teammate Nate McLouth is batting .419 during an eight-game hit streak versus Toronto, but is 1 for 11 with five strikeouts against Johnson.
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Ankle sprain|
|May 19, 2013||Darren Oliver||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
TORONTO (AP) -- These are the Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion expected after a busy offseason.
Encarnacion homered and drove in four runs, Josh Johnson earned his first win of the season and the Blue Jays matched a team record by winning their 11th straight game Sunday, finishing a three-game sweep of Baltimore with a 13-5 win.
The Blue Jays have gone 28-15 since May 2, when they were a season-worst 10-21. They've won 15 of their past 18, outscoring their opponents 102-52 in that span.
"I've been waiting for this since the season started," Encarnacion said. "I believe in this team so I knew things had to change, things had to become good for us. That's the way right now and we enjoy it, enjoy the moment. I'm not surprised by this. I know this team is good and I know we can do it."
Toronto has swept three consecutive series for the first time since 1998, the last time they won 11 straight. The Blue Jays also won 11 consecutive games in 1987.
"Everybody is doing their job, everybody is pitching in," Johnson said. "It's been impressive."
Playing before a sellout crowd of 45,214, Toronto became the first team since Detroit in 2011 to win 11 straight.
"We're feeling pretty good about ourselves," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We shut down a really good team over there."
The Blue Jays, who begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday, have not lost since a 10-6 defeat at the Chicago White Sox on June 10.
"A lot of guys have been in a good rhythm at the same time, which is kind of what we didn't have to start the season," catcher J.P. Arencibia said.
Ryan Flaherty hit two homers but Baltimore lost for the fifth time in eight games and allowed a season high in runs.
"We ran into a good team and came up short," Flaherty said.
Johnson (1-2) was winless in his first seven starts with Toronto, receiving just 13 total runs of support and losing twice. That changed Sunday, as the Blue Jays helped the right-hander with an early offensive barrage, scoring nine times in the first three innings.
Johnson allowed four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, walked one and struck out five. He's 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts since missing 31 games with a right triceps injury, and has struck out 25 batters in his past 25 1-3 innings.
"It's not an easy lineup to face regardless of the score," Gibbons said. "That's another good outing for him. That's one win. Getting on the board so you've got something to show for it always makes you feel good."
Aaron Loup , Juan Perez and Dustin McGowan each worked one inning.
Flaherty hit a two-run shot off Johnson in the seventh and a solo homer off McGowan in the ninth for his first career multihomer game. He has five home runs this season.
With first base open, the Blue Jays intentionally walked Orioles slugger Chris Davis to load the bases for Matt Wieters in the first, but Johnson got Wieters to foul out.
"Every time you turn on the highlights he's doing some damage somewhere," Gibbons said of Davis. "We've seen plenty of that. That's key, getting out of that first inning without any runs."
Arencibia was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom half to drive in the game's first run.
The Blue Jays used small ball and the long ball to score three more in the second. Emilio Bonifacio led off with a bunt single over the head of Baltimore starter Freddy Garcia , stole second and went to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Melky Cabrera 's sacrifice fly. Jose Bautista walked and Encarnacion followed with a first-pitch homer to left.
Toronto blew it open with a five-run, bat-around third. Maicer Izturis and Bonifacio chased Garcia with back-to-back RBI doubles, bringing left-hander T.J. McFarland out of the bullpen. One out later, Cabrera singled home a run, Bautista walked and Encarnacion hit a two-run double.
Baltimore broke through against Johnson in the fifth, when Manny Machado led off with his ML-leading 34th double and scored on a double by Nick Markakis . Markakis went to third on Adam Jones ' grounder and scored when Davis reached on Bonifacio's fielding error. Davis was credited with an RBI.
Flaherty's two-run homer made it 9-4 but Toronto answered with four in the bottom half. Colby Rasmus led off with a homer against McFarland, his 14th, and Bautista hit a bases-loaded double off Pedro Strop .
Garcia (3-5) had won his previous two outings in Toronto but lost for the third time in four starts. He allowed a season-worst seven runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the year.
"I made some good pitches and they just hit them," Garcia said. "Right now everything is going good for them. It's part of the game. You can't do anything about it."
Machado thought he'd fouled Johnson's strike three pitch into the dirt when he struck out in the first. After plate ump Doug Eddings checked the ball and upheld the call, Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to see the ball for himself.
NOTES: Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio that SS Jose Reyes (left ankle) will play one more rehab game at Triple-A Buffalo on Monday, then will likely join Double-A New Hampshire when Buffalo goes on the road. Anthopoulos said Reyes might not rejoin the Blue Jays until Thursday in Boston. ... Arencibia had three hits and scored twice. ... Blue Jays cleanup hitter Adam Lind has base hits in each of his past seven first inning at-bats, including two home runs. ... Toronto RHP Kyle Drabek (elbow surgery) allowed two runs and five hits in 2 1-3 innings in his first rehab start at Class-A Dunedin on Saturday. Drabek struck out two, walked none and allowed a home run.