TORONTO - And the beat goes on.
A team that’s ‘Too legit to quit’?
Call it what you like but the Blue Jays are a team that has forgotten how to lose.
Josh Johnson became the latest starter to jump aboard the runaway train that has now won 11 consecutive games when he pitched his way to his first victory of the season in the Jays 13-5 thrashing of the Baltimore Orioles.
That’s 11 wins in a row and counting, a feat that ties the club record for consecutive wins set in both 1987 and 1998.
The Jays have now swept three consecutive series — four games in Texas on the road and three against both the Colorado Rockies and Orioles at home. It also marks the third time in club history where they have gone undefeated on a homestand of at least six games.
The sun-drenched Rogers Centre crowd of 45,214 -- an official sellout -- lapped it up.
Their streak started on the road with a victory June 11 in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Jays have now won 15 of their past 18 games to climb two games over .500 with a 38-36 record.
They head out on a seven-game road trip against East Division rivals, playing three games against Tampa Bay and four next weekend in Boston against the division-leading Red Sox.
The win for Johnson was his first in a Blue Jays uniform in eight starts. On the season he is 1-2, partly since he has often been the victim of low run support.
But not this day.
After the third inning, the Jays’ hitters had built a 9-0 lead, had knocked out starting pitcher Freddy Garcia and were on cruise control.
Johnson threw five shutout innings and gave up a pair of runs in the sixth. After allowing a single to Chris Dickerson and two-run home run to Ryan Flaherty in the seventh, he was gone.
In the opening three, it was like batting practice for the Jays. The biggest damage supplied by Edwin Encarnacion, who hit a two-run home run in a three-run second before a two-run double in the Jays five-run third.
Encarnacion now has 21 home runs on the season, second to the 27 smote by the O’s Chris Davis, and 64 RBIs, third in the league behind Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Davis.
With the bases loaded in the first, the Jays jumped on Garcia in the first inning for a run when the right-hander hit J.P. Arencibia on the first pitch.
In the second, Emilio Bonifacio got it started with a bunt single -- a push bunt that sailed over Garcia’s head and dropped just back of the mound. He beat it out easily and then stole second.
A sacrifice bunt by Munenori Kawasaki moved him to third and a fly to centre by Melky Cabrera brought him home.
That was it for the small ball.
After Garcia walked Jose Bautista, Encarnacion unloaded on the first pitch. And, suddenly, the Jays were up 4-0.
They kept the foot on the gas the next inning when they sent nine batters to the plate.
The highlights were RBI doubles by Maicer Izturis and Bonifacio, RBI single by Cabrera and Encarnacion’s two-run double.
Colby Rasmus added a solo homer in the seventh, an inning where Jose Bautista hit a three-run double.