The Arizona Diamondbacks were going to need an incredible September to have any chance of moving up and capturing the NL's second wild-card spot.
They've gotten off to a poor start to the month after a shaky finish to August, putting a serious dent in their playoff aspirations.
Arizona looks to avoid a fifth loss in six contests as it continues a three-game set against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
The Diamondbacks (69-67) were held scoreless on two hits over the first eight innings in falling 4-1 in Monday's series opener. Coupled with Cincinnati's 7-2 win over St. Louis earlier in the day, they dropped seven games behind the Reds for the second wild-card berth.
Arizona has dropped eight of 12 and totaled eight runs in the last five games.
All-Star Paul Goldschmidt is 0 for 9 over the last three contests, Gerardo Parra is 3 for 18 in the past five and Eric Chavez is 1 for 15 with five strikeouts since being activated from the disabled list Aug. 26.
"Guys are playing hard, trying to have good at-bats," Goldschmidt said. "It just hasn't been as consistent as we would like. When you are not consistent you are not going to win a ton of games. You will win here and there, and that's what happened. As a whole the last couple of games, not good enough to win."
The Diamondbacks will try to score some runs for Wade Miley (9-9, 3.55 ERA) in his first appearance against last-place Toronto (63-75).
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA over his last seven starts, with the loss coming Wednesday despite allowing two runs over seven innings in a 5-1 defeat to San Diego.
Miley will be opposed by rookie Todd Redmond (2-2, 4.30), who is coming off a solid start Wednesday. The right-hander gave up two runs and three hits while striking out seven over 5 2-3 innings of a 7-2 home win over the New York Yankees .
Redmond was hit hard in his previous outing, allowing eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-4 loss at Houston on Aug. 23. He has struggled on the road, going 0-1 with a 7.41 ERA in four starts while giving up 25 hits and walking six over 17 innings.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer Monday for the Blue Jays, giving him 35 on the season to go along with 101 RBIs. He's 6 for 16 (.375) with two home runs and four RBIs in the last five games.
"He's dangerous," manager John Gibbons said of Encarnacion, who set career highs with 42 homers and 110 RBIs last season. "Eddie's not just a slugger. Eddie goes up there with a plan. He's really a student of hitting."
The Blue Jays have won six of eight, allowing two runs or less in six of those games.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 21, 2013||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left hip bone bruise|
|August 21, 2013||Maicer Izturis||60-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|August 20, 2013||Maicer Izturis||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained left ankle|
|August 17, 2013||Jose Reyes||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|August 12, 2013||Colby Rasmus||15-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|August 10, 2013||Juan Perez||60-Day DL||Torn UCL ligament, left elbow|
|August 24, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinky finger|
|August 12, 2013||Cody Ross||60-Day DL||Dislocated right hip|
|August 11, 2013||Cody Ross||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right hip|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|July 29, 2013||Miguel Montero||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Edwin Encarnacion says Chase Field is "one of the best" places to hit in the majors.
Of course he should feel that way.
The Toronto slugger homered for a record fifth straight time at the Arizona ballpark to help the Blue Jays beat the fading Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 on Tuesday night.
"Eddie hits everywhere," Toronto manager John Gibbons said, "but he hits really well here."
Rajai Davis , Adam Lind and Moises Sierra also homered for the Blue Jays, who jumped out to a 5-0 lead in two innings off Wade Miley (9-10).
Toronto clinched its third straight series. The Blue Jays have won five of six and seven of nine.
"It's been a tough year for us but we're playing some good baseball right now," Gibbons said. "We've got some young guys in there that are contributing, bringing some energy. The bottom line too is when you pitch, you've got a chance, and that's pretty much what we've been doing lately."
The Diamondbacks have lost three straight and five of six, all at home.
Adam Eaton , Didi Gregorius and Miguel Montero homered for Arizona, which fell eight games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot.
Washington moved ahead of the Diamondbacks in the wild-card chase.
"We have to figure out how to get something going," Eaton said. "It is called a grind for a reason and we can't put our heads down and pout about it. We have to get something going, some way and somehow and figure it out."
Todd Redmond (3-2) allowed three runs and four hits in five innings for his second win in a row.
"The offense did a great job tonight. Hat's off to them," he said, "and I was able to keep the ball down and throw strikes."
Encarnacion also doubled, singled and walked twice. Going back to May 2010, he has seven home runs in his past five games at Chase.
"It surprised me when they told me that, but it's good," he said. "You can see the ball good here - I can see it."
Miley didn't make it out of the second inning, allowing five runs and eight hits in 1 2-3 innings. Eaton had two throwing errors in left field, one of which led to an unearned run.
Toronto got one run in the first on Brett Lawrie 's RBI single, then added four in the second to bring a quick end to Miley's night.
Kevin Pillar doubled with one out, then Redmond walked. Jose Reyes followed with a single but was picked off first base.
That saved a run for Arizona because Davis sent Miley's 3-2 pitch over the wall in left-center, a two-run shot that made it 4-0. Encarnacion doubled and Lawrie got another RBI single to put the Blue Jays up 5-0.
Miley walked Mark DeRosa and the Arizona left-hander's night was over. Josh Collmenter came on and retired J.P. Arencibia to end the inning.
Redmond was perfect through three innings before Eaton led off the fourth with a home run to the swimming pool area in left field.
The Diamondbacks went on to get runners at first and third with one out in the inning, but Aaron Hill grounded sharply to third and Toronto converted the inning-ending double play.
The Blue Jays got a run off Collmenter in the fifth when DeRosa led off with a single and reached third when Eaton's throw from left field after Arencibia's fly out sailed into the Toronto dugout. DeRosa scored the unearned run on Sierra's double off Eaton's glove at the wall in left-center.
Arizona cut it to 6-3 on Gregorius' two-run home run into the right field seats off Redmond in the fifth.
Another leadoff homer, this one in the seventh by Montero off Neil Wagner , cut the lead to 6-4. Gerardo Parra followed with an infield single, but was erased when pinch hitter Willie Bloomquist grounded into a double play.
Encarnacion's towering home run off Will Harris in the seventh put Toronto up 7-4.
Toronto blew the game open in the ninth. Lind's pinch-hit home run off left-hander Eury de La Rosa made it 8-4, then Sierra's two-run shot, his first homer of the season, put Toronto up 10-4.
The shortstop Reyes threw A.J. Pollock out from his backside after knocking down a sharp grounder in the first inning. He said he had done that only once before, also in Arizona when he was with the New York Mets .
Notes: The Diamondbacks recalled 3B Matt Davidson and C Tuffy Gosewisch and selected SS Chris Owings from Triple-A Reno. Owings was the PCL player of the year. LHP Matt Reynolds was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Owings on the 40-man roster. ... Owings grounded out as a pinch hitter in the fifth in his major league debut. ... Toronto recalled RHP Kyle Drabek from Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays also selected LHP Ricky Romero , RHP Jeremy Jeffress and C Mike Nickeas from Buffalo. LHP Luis Perez returned from a medical rehab assignment and activated from the 60-day DL. ... Randall Delgado (4-5, 3.67 ERA) goes for Arizona and Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.92) for Toronto in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.