Blue Jays rally with late home run binge

Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista claps his hands after hitting a home run against the Phillies at the...

Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista claps his hands after hitting a home run against the Phillies at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., July 3, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:35 PM ET

TORONTO - Biff! Boom! Bam!

And they circled the bases as home run hitters can.

Toronto Blue Jays batters Eric Thames, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion homered in a span of 10 pitches off lefty Cliff Lee for a 7-4 win, salvaging the final game of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Jays were down 4-0 in the bottom of the third to Lee and his string of 34 consecutive scoreless innings before rallying in front of 26,204 fans at the Rogers Centre Sunday afternoon.

Holy gopher ball, Charlie Manuel!

The Jays scored three times to trail 4-3 entering the eighth before hitting three homers off Lee.

Thames darted around the bases after hitting his dinger.

“I wasn’t running, I was trotting,” protested Thames after his third career homer, his second off a lefty and first off a former Cy Young award winner.

“You were rounding second before the ball cleared the fence,” said Jays outfielder Corey Patterson, standing nearby.

After Thames' sprint, Bautista hit a 2-1 pitch to left field for his 27th homer of the season. Adam Lind singled and Juan Rivera flied out, Encarnacion went deep to left-centre on an 0-1 pitch for his sixth homer on the year.

“Lee’s a guy who will challenge you,” said Thames. “The guys I have trouble with are soft-throwing lefties. He challenged me. He challenged everyone.”

Named the leading vote getter for the July 12 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix earlier in the day, Bautista contributed to the day's highlight package by hitting the game-winning homer.

“(Thames) went up there with a plan, he didn’t panic after all those changeups he saw from Lee earlier in the game,” Bautista said. “He hit it the ball hard. That’s what good hitters do.”

Moves

On a day that the Rogers Centre was electric -- for half an inning anyway -- the Jays recalled Travis Snider, who will play right field, while Thames will switch to left at Boston's Fenway Park.

Jays manager John Farrell said that, down the road, Snider could see time in centre field, allowing for an outfield of Thames, Snider and Patterson, all of whom left-handed hitters.

Aren’t the Jays now lopsided from the left side?

“Not against a right-hander,” Farrell said.

Of course, if Thames can take a tough lefty like Lee over the centre field fence, maybe he’s an every day player.

Designated for assignment was right-handed hitter Rivera, who saw a lot of time against left-handers and also saw a lot of time chasing balls down against the fence after they went off his glove.

Game action

With Philly's Shane Victorino on second and the Phillies leading 4-3, Jays reliever Octavio Dotel used an inside move, wheeled and picked off Victorino on a 1-6-5-4 rundown. It turned out to be a pretty important play after Raul Ibanez, the next hitter, doubled ... Lind lobbed a double into shallow left, chasing Bautista to third in the sixth. Rivera brought in Bautista with a fly ball while Lind was going to be thrown out by about 40 feet, but centre fielder Victorino rolled his ankle and fell down ... Rajai Davis singled with one out in the fifth, then stole second and third on successive pitches. It’s the fourth time this season he’s stolen two bases in the same inning. He scored on an Aaron Hill single ... Davis tripled to right centre and scored when John McDonald grounded out, ending Lee’s scoreless string at 34 innings ... Bautista showed the best two assets needed to play third, according to Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews. He showed a strong arm and a stronger chest. Bautista knocked down a Ben Francisco shot and fired a strike to first. Three batters later, he made a fine play on a Wilson Valdez grounder ... The Phillies scored four in a 17-pitch span during the second against Jo-Jo Reyes. It went like this: A Victorino double, run-scoring Franciso single, a Domonic Brown single, a two-run, Carlos Ruiz double and a run-scoring single by Jimmy Rollins.

The day after

Phillies starter Halladay, who received a 32-second standing ovation from the Rogers Centre crowd of 44,078 when he took the mound Saturday, was at the Rogers Centre early Sunday morning. Halladay and Phillies strength and conditioning coordinator Dong Lien, who hails from outside Winnipeg and is a University of Manitoba grad, jogged to the Princess Gate of the CNE and back ... Halladay had planned on visiting Sotto Sotto in Yorkville with former neighbors Saturday night, but cancelled after Saturday’s emotional day. “I took the night off,” Halladay said. When Halladay was with the Jays, his former agents, Allan and Randal Hendricks, took him to Sotto Sotto with fellow clients Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, then pitching with the New York Yankees ... Asked if his smile Friday, when handing in the lineup card as our Bill Lankhof wrote, was Halladay’s “longest smile in Toronto,” Halladay replied “probably.” ... We’ve only seen him smile like that once in 2009 when he saw his pal Isaac McFayden, now seven years old, race onto the field. Issac suffers from an rare disease called MPS VI, a genetic disease caused by an enzyme deficiency and is one of handful of people in Canada who have the disease.


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