Who needs to win close games when you can rout your opponents instead?
Not these Toronto Blue Jays, that’s for sure. One day after taking a closely contested 4-2 game against the divisional rival Baltimore Orioles to finally move above .500, the team did not mess around on Sunday, bringing the broom in the form of an offensive sledgehammer as their bats pounded the O’s into submission in a 13-5 rout for their 11th win in a row.
Yes, you can read that again. Toronto is now a mere three games back of a wild card spot, and face the same gap between them and the second-place (tie) Orioles … and the All-Star break isn’t here yet.
Holding the handle of the hammer this time was Edwin Encarnacion, who has heated up as expected since a rather concerning .238/.319 April that still featured a .525 slugging percentage thanks to nine homers.
On Sunday, though, the DH (for the day) was the complete package at the plate, going 3-for-5 and coming just one triple short of a cycle … and all three of his hits came in the first three innings, so it’s not as though the possibility was that far-fetched either.
If there was any thought that his 42-homer, 4.2 fWAR 2012 was going to be a one-off, I think those notions can safely be thrown away now.
Aside from posting a OPS well above 1.000 over the last week, the two-run bomb that Encarnacion delivered today was his 21st of the season, which, by the way, would put him at a pace to hit 46 over the full year. For all the talk between Chris Davis‘ incredible breakout taking on Miguel Cabrera‘s potential career-best season, the Blue Jays slugger actually trails just behind both in RBI and currently leads Miggy in homers.
He might not be hitting over .300, but it’s hard to argue that his power production ranks among the best in the game right now — All-Star game or not.