EditorsNote: removes extraneous word from 11th graf
Atlanta’s Josh Donaldson stroked a two-run homer and scored three runs against his former team, and Canadian pitcher Mike Soroka earned his 11th win of the year in the Braves’ 6-3 victory over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.
Donaldson’s home run staked the Braves to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Soroka (11-3) worked five innings and yielded three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six.
The rookie pitcher, a native of Calgary and a Blue Jays fan growing up, saw his ERA move to 2.53, third best in the National League.
Johan Camargo added his fourth pinch-hit homer this season to drive in two runs, and Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 for the Braves.
Mark Melancon notched his ninth save (eighth with Atlanta) by striking out all three batters in the ninth to seal the club’s fifth straight win.
Randal Grichuk (two RBIs) and Rowdy Tellez ripped solo home runs, and Bo Bichette singled, walked and scored for the Blue Jays, who committed three errors.
Toronto starter Jacob Waguespack (4-3) allowed just one hit in four innings, but four runs (two earned) crossed the plate. He walked five and fanned four.
Houston’s Justin Verlander tossed his second career no-hitter against Toronto on Sunday, but leadoff hitter Bichette made sure his club would not suffer back-to-back no-nos, lining a single to left field to start the game.
However, it was Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP during a 41-homer, 123-RBI season for the Blue Jays, who produced runs in the opening frame.
The third baseman slugged an 0-2 fastball from Waguespack to center for his 34th home run and put Atlanta up 2-0.
The Braves added two runs without a hit in the third by way of Waguespack’s wildness and a fielding error with two outs.
Waguespack walked the bases loaded, but third baseman Brandon Drury booted a grounder that would have ended the inning, allowing a pair of unearned runs to score.
Grichuk led off the fourth by yanking a 78 mph Soroka slider to left field for his 24th homer to put Toronto on the board.
Tellez came off the bench to hit his second career pinch-hit homer in the fifth, launching his 16th deep shot to right center-field to snap an 0-for-10 slump and make it 4-2.
Grichuk later added a sacrifice fly to score Bichette in the two-run fifth.
Camargo hooked a homer down the left field line, his sixth, in the eighth for a pair of insurance runs.
—Field Level Media