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 offence 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-centre, 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-centre.
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.