Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion hit back-to-back home runs in bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, propelling the Blue Jays to a 9-6 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. It was the eighth straight win for the Blue Jays, who are now 31-22 on the season with a growing first-place lead in the American League East standings.
And that fifth-inning homer by Encarnacion gave him 14 for the month of May — tying a franchise record held by Jose Bautista for most homers in a month.
MLB.com has the video of Encarnacion’s big blast.
The 31-year-old now has a .926 OPS with 16 homers and 42 RBI in 53 total games this season. He finished with 36 homers and 104 RBI in 2014.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.