ATLANTA — David Price allowed one run in seven innings, Russell Martin hit a homer and drove in four runs, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Shelby Miller and the Atlanta Braves 9-1 on Wednesday night to protect their lead in the AL East.
Price (16-5) gave up six hits and had nine strikeouts as he improved to 7-1 since coming to Toronto in a trade with Detroit. He lowered his ERA to 2.42.
The Blue Jays stayed three games ahead of second-place New York in the division. The Yankees beat the Rays 3-1.
Toronto had 12 hits as it returned to its customary high-scoring pace after managing only a combined two runs in two straight losses. Martin hit a two-run double in the four-run first and added a two-run homer off Ryan Kelly in the ninth.
Miller (5-15) didn’t make it through the fourth inning as he gave up five runs, four earned. His ERA rose to 3.00 after he allowed four or more earned runs for the third time in his last five starts.
Miller’s streak of winless starts was extended to 22. It is the longest streak for any pitcher in a season he was an All-Star. The right-hander, who has the worst run support in the majors, has lost 14 consecutive decisions since his last win on May 17.
Jose Bautista had a run-scoring double and Ryan Goins drove in a run in the first. The Blue Jays knocked Miller out of the game with another run in the fourth.
Ben Revere drove in two runs with two hits, including a double in the fifth, for Toronto.
The Braves’ run came in the first. Nick Markakis hit a leadoff double and scored on Freddie Freeman’s fly ball. Christian Bethancourt had three hits.
Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion had three hits and two walks in his return after missing two starts with a sore left middle finger.
Price walked Bethancourt and pinch-hitter Ryan Lavarnway to open the fifth but then had help from an unusual double play. Second baseman Cliff Pennington couldn’t catch a shallow pop fly by Markakis, but his throw to Goins forced Lavarnway at second. Goins threw to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who tagged Bethancourt when he slid past the bag.
BLUE JAYS: Manager John Gibbons said RHP LaTroy Hawkins was expected to be available after being held out with right forearm soreness for four days.
BRAVES: RHP Jason Grilli, recovering from surgery on July 17 to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon, said he hopes to be ready for spring training. He no longer needs a scooter or crutches and said he’ll soon be free of his walking boot. Grilli was named the Braves’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee. … OF Cameron Maybin was 0 for 4 and struck out in his first three at-bats in his first start since suffering an abrasion in his left eye on Sept. 5.
BLUE JAYS: RHP Marco Estrada will try to give the Blue Jays the series win over the Braves. Estrada (12-8) is 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA since the All-Star break. He is 2-0 in three games, including two starts, against NL teams this season.
BRAVES: Rookie RHP Matt Wisler will try to snap a personal six-game losing streak. His last win was on July 26. Wisler is 5-7 with a 5.60 ERA after winning five of his first six decisions.
Charles Odum, The Associated Press