TORONTO — Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey threw his first complete game of the season as the Toronto Blue Jays dumped the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 on Thursday night.
The victory before 19,014 fans at Rogers Centre gave the Blue Jays (19-24) a split of the four-game series. It was Toronto’s second win in its last nine games.
Dickey (2-5) allowed four earned runs, five hits, two walks and had seven strikeouts. The Blue Jays outhit the Angels 10-5.
Marc Krauss belted Dickey’s third pitch of the night into the second deck to give Los Angeles (21-20) an early lead. Toronto’s Danny Valencia answered in the third inning with a solo shot off Matt Shoemaker (3-4) that curled just inside the right-field foul pole.
It was Valencia’s first homer of the year. The Blue Jays used a few breaks to pull ahead later in the frame.
Ryan Goins hit a chopper that took a wicked bounce and handcuffed Krauss at first base. The ball rolled into right field and Goins raced into second base.
Steve Tolleson dropped a bunt down the third-base line and Shoemaker was high with his throw to first base, allowing Goins to trot home. Tolleson stole second base but was left stranded when Encarnacion struck out.
Dickey settled into a groove after giving up the early homer, retiring nine of the next 10 batters.
In the fifth inning, Goins walked and moved to third on a Tolleson single. With the shift on, Jose Bautista took advantage of the big hole on the right side and stroked an RBI single to the opposite field.
Encarnacion followed by belting a 2-0 pitch over the wall for his 10th homer of the season.
Mike Trout led off the seventh inning with a double and scored on a double by David Freese. In the bottom half, Bautista hit a sacrifice fly that scored Tolleson, who led off with a walk and moved to third on a Josh Donaldson double.
Kevin Pillar helped pad the lead with an infield single that brought Donaldson home. Freese hit a two-run shot in the ninth inning, his eighth homer of the season.
Shoemaker worked six innings and two batters. He gave up seven earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
Notes: The game took two hours 22 minutes to play. … Krauss filled in for slugger Albert Pujols, who is day to day after being hit by a pitch in the left hand on Wednesday night. … Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes is expected to return to the Blue Jays early next week. He started a rehab stint with triple-A Buffalo on Thursday night in Toledo. … The Angels will wrap up their 10-game road trip with a weekend series in Boston. … The Blue Jays will continue their 10-game homestand on Friday night with the opener of a three-game set against Seattle. Felix Hernandez (6-1, 2.30 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mariners against fellow right-hander Marco Estrada (1-2, 3.55).
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press