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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.