Jays avoid series sweep with Braves

Toronto Blue Jays runner Yan Gomes scores the tying run past Atlanta Braves catcher David Ross in...

Toronto Blue Jays runner Yan Gomes scores the tying run past Atlanta Braves catcher David Ross in the fifth inning at their MLB Inter-League baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta. (Tami Chappell/REUTERS)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

ATLANTA - The bus was about the leave.

The driving rain forecasted for Sunday had arrived in buckets.

And the Jays had finally registered a win in the house that Ted Turner built.

Roaring back from being down 4-0 the Jays scored a 12-4 win over the Atlanta Braves to end an eight-game losing streak before 20,222 on a wet Sunday afternoon in Georgia.

“It was a good win, but it more than that,” said closer Casey Janssen after the Jays largest offensive explosion in 20 games going back to a 14-5 win over the New York Mets.

“It salvaged a trip at 3-3 against two pretty good teams. And it could have been a 5-1 trip ... if we win the final game Thursday in Chicago and if we win the first game here Friday night.”

Young inconsistent teams have “iffy” trips.

Good teams, as impressive as Sunday’s hitting was, would have gone 5-1.

As it was, the Jays finished 3-3 two games over sea level for the season, just as their record was when they left Toronto a week ago.

They return to the Rogers Centre Monday night and the resumption of inter-league play against the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Centre fielder Colby Rasmus had three hits and three RBIs, including a double and his eighth homer from the No. 2 spot and lead-off man Brett Lawrie had a pair of hits, including his fifth homer. Encarnacion had three hits also, doubling in a run.

Exit Julio: After the fall of Teheran, Braves reliever Livan Hernandez took control of the pitching mound. And then the Braves fell.

Hard.

Up 4-0 in the fifth, Julio Teheran, making a spot start for Tim Hudson, allowed a run and had the bases loaded when Hernandez arrived. Of the first 11 hitters Hernandez faced seven reached base. Six either scored or drove in a run.

“They took their starter out at a time that didn’t make sense to any of us,” said Jose Bautista. “He’d only thrown 74 pitches, was just finishing going through the order twice. I’m sure they had some good reason.

“Livan came in and was throwing strikes. When you combine runners on base and base hits it’s going to make for some runs.”

The Jays six-run fifth and three-run seventh had them on their way to a giggler.

How bad have the Jays been going with the bats of late? Well, when Yan Gomes singled, pinch-hitting for to knock Teheran from the game it ended his own 0-for-17 skid.

Next up was Lawrie, who singled to right, driving in a run and ending his own 0-for-16 skid. Rasmus followed with a two-run single, Bautista had an RBI single and Encarnacion doubled in a run.

Hernandez retired the first two hitters of the sixth then reliever Carlos Villanueva singled and Lawrie hit a two-run homer to left and Rasmus a solo shot to right for an 11-4 lead.

Changing tides: Ricky Romero stood at the same locker as a year ago when he stated that Adam Lind and Bautista could not be expected to drive in all the runs.

A year ago the Jays were edged 2-0 by Tim Hudson.

This time they put up 18 hits and 12 runs as Romero had his shortest outing of his career.

“I don’t think one has anything to do with the other,” Romero said.

Romero threw only 69 pitches when the Jays went to pinch hitter Yan Gomes, who singled in a run.

Romero’s previous shortest outings were 74 pitches twice ... on May 7, 2011 when he gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers and June 11, 2010 against the Colorado Rockies when he allowed five runs in five innings in 5-3 loss.

The Jays ace allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits, including two doubles, two walks and a hit batter.

Heading into Sunday’s start “Ricky wasn’t as sharp as he has been,” Farrell told reporters. “Some years, for whatever the reason, a starter is the guy who gets the run support, another year he doesn’t.”

Romero ranked fifth worst amongst American League starters in walked allowed per nine innings and seventh best among hit allowed per nine. He cut down on his walks. Not on his hits. He has an ERA of 5.01 on the road, while he’s 3.51 at home.

In Game: Coming in the Jays were hitting .172 (44-for-256) during their eight-game losing streak in Atlanta before pounding out 18 hits ... Omar Vizquel on Encarnacion’s debut and catch in left “we were all praying on the bench that they wouldn’t hit any more out there after he made that good catch. No, let me re-phrase that: after that great catch.” .... Carlos Villanueva picked up the win two scoreless innings and also singled to right, the first hit by a Jays pitcher since a year ago in St. Louis when Romero singled off Kyle McClellan in St. Louis ... Darren Oliver worked a scoreless inning lowering his ERA to 1.71 ... Vizquel had a pinch-hit single in the seventh, the Jays second pinch hit of the day, along with the Gomes hit. The Jays had been 1-for-26 pinch hitting coming into the game.


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