Troy Tulowitzki's 2 homers power Blue Jays over Athletics
Donaldson also goes deep, Happ earns 3rd win
Swinging a big bat, the Toronto Blue Jays served a reminder Saturday why they made it within two wins of the World Series last fall.
It's been 19 games coming this season, with a hard-hitting 2015 setting the bar very high for this year's lineup.
"We definitely needed that today," manager John Gibbons said after a morale-lifting 9-3 win over the Oakland Athletics. "That looked a lot like last year. But last year is over with. And just hopefully we can build off that."
Josh Donaldson homered and drove in four runs while Troy Tulowitzki slammed two solo shots in a 13-hit attack that snapped the Jays' three-game losing streak before a sellout crowd of 46,334 at the Rogers Centre. It marked Toronto's highest offensive output of the young season.
"Today was more Toronto Blue Jays offence-like than what we've seen early on in the season," said Donaldson.
It was a complete effort from Toronto (9-10). J.A. Happ delivered another efficient outing and his defence, bolstered by the return of Tulowitzki at shortstop after a night off, turned three double plays.
Ezequiel Carrera, filling in for Michael Saunders in left field and atop the batting order, also had an afternoon to remember. The first four-hit outing of his career featured three singles and a ground-rule double in five at bats. He scored three runs and saved a few more with acrobatic diving catches in the fifth and ninth innings.
"One of my best games," Carrera said by way of summary through an interpreter.
The Venezuelan's performance ensures another day's rest for Saunders' hamstring.
"I'm definitely playing him tomorrow, I can guarantee that," Gibbons said. "It gives Michael a little time to heal up. Michael's our left-fielder. But like I told you before, I'm dumb but I'm not stupid."
Happ (3-0) gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings, with one strikeout and one walk in his 200th career appearance. The left-hander has gone at least six innings in his four starts, living up to the US$36 million, three-year deal he signed in the off-season.
Gavin Floyd closed it out for the Jays.
"It was a good team win," said Tulowitzki, who came into the game batting .150 with two home runs. "We pitched well, played good defence. Obviously some individuals on the team had a great game and it was fun out there. It's always better winning, I'll tell you that."
"That was a really good Blue Jays win," echoed Happ. "Great defence and a lot of good offence. And I'd like to think the pitching was good as well."
Added Gibbons: "A big day for a lot of guys, it really was."
The victory snapped Oakland's six-game win streak while ending its perfect road record.