SPORTS

Blue Jays belt five home runs but still drop 8-7 decision to Braves

04/17/2015 10:28 EDT | Updated 07/04/2015 03:59 EDT
TORONTO - The ball was flying out of Rogers Centre on Friday night with seven home runs on the boxscore. The Atlanta Braves waited until the eighth inning to go deep and their two dingers were the difference in a back-and-forth slugfest with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes hit a tiebreaking solo shot and Freddie Freeman added a two-run shot later in the frame as the Braves took the opener of the three-game interleague series 8-7.

"Our offence scored seven runs tonight," said Toronto starter Drew Hutchison. "To not win that game is embarrassing, to be honest."

Reliever Brett Cecil (0-1) gave up both homers as the Braves (7-3) pulled ahead 8-5. The Blue Jays scored twice in the bottom of the eighth but Jason Grilli worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

"I'm not trying to hit a homer," Gomes said. "I'm just trying to get a go-ahead run on base and it had enough to sneak out."

Toronto (5-6) hit five home runs but four of them were solo shots. Josh Donaldson and Toronto native Russell Martin hit two homers apiece and Devon Travis added the other.

Martin's first blast helped end his long slump. He now has three hits on the season and his average jumped from .042 to .111.

"Any time you square the ball up like that it's going to feel good," Martin said. "I just capitalized on a couple mistakes that were in the heart of the plate and put some good swings on them. It's definitely encouraging but it's not really satisfying when you don't end up winning the game."

Cody Martin (1-0) threw one inning of relief for the win.

With Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes skipping the series to rest a cracked rib and strained muscle on his left side, Travis led off by taking a 1-1 pitch from Julio Teheran over the wall in straightaway centre for his third homer of the year.

Donaldson hit a two-run shot in the third and added another blast in the fifth inning. Hutchison didn't make it out of the fifth, giving up seven hits, four earned runs and three walks while striking out six.

"It's a pitch or two right here or there and that big hit at the right time," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "That's usually what it comes down to. We're 0 for (four in one-run games) right now but I've got a good feeling that will change. But it means you're playing tight ball games and eventually you've got to win those."

Martin's second homer came in the bottom of the eighth off Jim Johnson. It was his ninth career multi-homer game.

Toronto put two runners in scoring position after the Martin blast. Travis hit a grounder to short that brought home Dalton Pompey of Mississauga, Ont., but Pillar was tagged in a rundown between second and third and Donaldson grounded out to end the inning.

The game took three hours and nine minutes to play. Announced attendance was 21,397.

Notes: Teheran gave up seven hits, five earned runs and two walks over five innings. He had four strikeouts. ... Donaldson has four career multi-homer games. ... Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. The Braves will counter with left-hander Alex Wood. ... Toronto is off Monday and will close out its 10-game homestand next week with a three-game series against Baltimore. ... Outfielder Michael Saunders is not expected to join the team by the end of the homestand. He's trying to get back into game shape in Dunedin, Fla., after undergoing knee surgery last month.

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