Instant Replay: Blue Jays 7, Phillies 2

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The Toronto Blue Jays used good starting pitching, power at the plate and strong defense in beating the Phillies, 7-2, at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.
 
The Jays have beaten the Phils two straight days by a combined score of 18-5. The Phillies won 7-0 on Monday. The four-game, home-and-home interleague series concludes Thursday night.
 
The Phillies have lost 17 of their last 22 games to fall to 30-36.
 
Toronto is 37-31.
 
Starting pitching report
Jeremy Hellickson (4-5) lost for the second time in six days. He allowed five hits (one was a home run) and four runs over six innings. What really hurt the right-hander were the two walks he issued to open the fourth inning. Both turned into runs.
 
Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada entered the game with the lowest opponents' batting average (.168) in the majors. He ranked fourth in the American League with a 2.57 ERA. Estrada pitched to that high standard, giving up just four hits and two runs over 6 2/3 innings to improve to 5-2. He walked one and struck out five.
 
Bullpen report
Phillies right-hander Hector Neris opened the season with two strong months but has really struggled recently. He gave up two hits, a walk and three runs in two-thirds of an inning of relief. Over his last eight appearances, Neris has given up eight earned runs in 6 1/3 innings for an ERA of 11.37. He has allowed 11 hits and eight walks over that span.
 
Toronto’s bullpen pitched scoreless ball.
 
At the plate
Cody Asche accounted for both of the Phillies’ runs with a solo homer and an RBI double, both off Estrada. Asche hit both balls well. The homer traveled into the upper deck in right field and the double to deep right-center. Asche added a second double in the ninth inning to finish the night with half of the Phillies' six hits.
 
Tommy Joseph went 0 for 4. He is hitless in his last 16 at-bats. Joseph did hit the ball hard once and was victim of an excellent defensive play.
 
Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson homered for the Jays. Ryan Goins and Devon Travis also had RBI hits.
 
Encarnacion leads the majors with 57 RBIs.
 
In the field
Toronto third baseman Donaldson made two eye-popping plays to take away hits from Hellickson and Joseph.

Health check
Maikel Franco’s sore right knee kept him out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. He was able to take ground balls during batting practice (see story).

Franco entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and struck out to end the game.

After the game, manager Pete Mackanin said Franco would be ready to play Thursday. Franco also said he would be good to go.
 
Up next
The two teams meet again on Thursday night. Aaron Nola (5-5, 2.98) pitches against former Phillie J.A. Happ (7-3, 3.70).

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