Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pillar's Three-Run Shot Leads Blue Jays Past Dodgers 5-2; Toronto Wins Fourth in a Row

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pillar's Three-Run Shot Leads Blue Jays Past Dodgers 5-2; Toronto Wins Fourth in a Row

Article excerpt

Pillar leads Blue Jays past Dodgers

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TORONTO - Not even Kevin Pillar saw his game-winning home run coming.

Pillar sliced a three-run homer over the left-field fence in the bottom of the eighth as the Blue Jays topped the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Friday for Toronto's fourth straight win.

"Oh, I don't hit enough of them to know that they're going to be homers," said Pillar, who had one home run and nine runs batted in heading into Friday's game. "I just thought I hit it good enough to get it over his head."

Edwin Encarnacion had reached second base on a ground-rule double in the second at bat of the inning and L.A. reliever Joe Blanton intentionally walked Justin Smoak to get to Pillar.

"I think it's the first time someone's been intentionally walked in front of me," said Pillar in the clubhouse after the game. "Naturally, you try to do too much and I think I got caught up in that the swing before.

"Just had to gather myself and do what I've been doing, just try to hit the ball hard."

Jose Bautista also hit a home run for Toronto (16-15), a two-run shot in the sixth inning to back Marcus Stroman's (4-0) seven inning performance. Stroman allowed eight hits but struck out eight, giving up only two runs. Gavin Floyd and Drew Storen each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Floyd earned the win as the pitcher of record during Pillar's decisive at bat. Although Storen loaded the bases in the ninth inning, he escaped without giving up a run and earned the save.

"I've seen K.P. play from the minors and I think he's one of the best players I've ever seen," said Stroman of Pillar. "The way he's able to barrel balls up, you're starting to see what he can do on an every-day basis.

"That's routine for me to see from K.P., to go out there and hit homers, get three or four knocks and make diving plays, I've seen that since 2012."

Joc Pederson and Carl Crawford keyed the Los Angeles (14-15) offence with a double each. Kenta Maeda (3-1) struck out six over six innings of work, giving up two earned runs. Louis Coleman and Adam Liberatore came in from the bullpen for the Dodgers, with Blanton suffering the loss. …

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