Jays respond to thumping with a win

Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion (right) is congratulated by teammate Brett Lawrie at home plate after...

Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion (right) is congratulated by teammate Brett Lawrie at home plate after hitting a three-run home run against the Athletics during fourth inning action in Toronto on July 26, 2012. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:43 PM ET

TORONTO - One swing of the bat was all it took for Edwin Encarnacion to shift momentum in the Blue Jays favour.

After being humiliated 16-0 the night before and being outscored 23-2 in the two losses against the Oakland A's, the Jays were flat and trailing 3-0 when Encarnacion came to the plate in the fourth.

It was a big moment for a big bat as the Jays had runners on first and third and one out and if they were to get off the schneid and break the 12 consecutive shutout innings, this was the time.

Encarnacion didn't disappoint as on a 2-2 pitch from Oakland starter Tommy Milone, Steady Eddie parked one in the seats in left to tie it and the Jays were back in business.

In the sixth, trailing 4-3, Travis Snider then threw the A's a curve as with one out and two on he dropped down a safety squeeze that resulted in two runs and the Jays were off and running.

Long ball, small ball -- it was what the Jays needed to get it done in their 10-4 triumph.

Snider's bunt aside, Encarnacion's blast was the Jays' key hit of the game.

"You could feel it in the dugout. It just lifted the morale of the team, wakened everybody up," Jays starter Aaron Laffey said of Encarnacion's homer. "Everybody got some energy after that and that was a key part of the game right there."

The home run was Encarnacion's 27th of the season, which tied him for the team lead with the injured Jose Bautista. It also marked his career high, eclipsing the 26 he hit for Cincinnati in 2008.

Snider, meanwhile, had struck out in his previous two at-bats against the lefty Milone and with runners on second and third and one out, manager John Farrell was playing for a run.

"In that spot we're playing for a run just to tie things up," Farrell said. "Fortunately they mishandled the ball (Milone's throw hit Snider enabling Brett Lawrie to score from second) and we ended up scoring two runs."

A slugger by trade, Snider said he wasn't thinking bunt when he came to the plate in the sixth. And why would he? In his professional career has amassed the grand total of three sacrifice hits.

"John had a feeling, it was a great call on his part," Snider said. "I was lucky he threw it over the plate so it was easier on me than anyone else."

He said he had been asked to bunt just once this season in his time with Las Vegas.

"I tried once off of a left hander and Anthony Gose can tell you it was pretty ugly," Snider said. "I think I missed it by about six feet and I was two steps out of the box before the ball even crossed the plate.

"But in that situation (Thursday), you've got to be ready for whatever and I was able to get the bunt down and help the team win today."

Due to the injuries to Bautista and J.P. Arencibia, Snider now finds himself batting fifth which is a run-producing spot in the lineup.

"One through nine I don't care where I'm at, I'm not going to read into that kind of stuff" he said. "When you get an opportunity to hit in the middle of the order and with guys on base and hitting behind a hitter like Encarnacion, it definitely comes with great responsibility that I look forward to. Having guys on base and being a run [producer] is something that I feel like I've done my whole career in the minor leagues and I just look forward to opportunities at the big-league level to get those chances."

To round out his day, Snider doubled home the first of four runs for the Jays in the eighth to help break the game open.

Since his return from Vegas he is hitting .304 with two homers and seven RBIs.

While acknowledging his contributions, Snider was quick to point to Encarnacion to set the tone.

"Unbelievable," he said of the importance of Encarnacion's three-run shot. "A three-run deficit and he comes up and ties the game with one swing as he's done a few times this year for this club.

"We've been rolling with some punches the last few days -- their pitching staff has done a great job and their offence has been a bit overwhelming. To be able to kind of throw a punch back and be able to put us in a position to win a ball game was definitely a turning point in the game."


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