ARLINGTON, Texas — Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, helping David Price get a win on his 30th birthday in Toronto's 12-4 victory against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Encarnacion sent his 26th homer into the Blue Jays' bullpen in left-centre after Kevin Pillar opened a six-run sixth inning with a long ball that chased Texas starter Colby Lewis (14-6). Lewis issued four of a season-high 11 walks by Rangers pitchers.
Pitching on his birthday for the first time in the majors, Price (13-4) threw five scoreless innings after allowing Adrian Beltre's two-run homer in the first.
The AL East-leading Blue Jays won their fifth straight, while the Rangers dropped a half-game behind Minnesota in the race for the second AL wild card.
Jose Bautista walked four times and scored twice as Toronto went two games up in the division on the New York Yankees, who lost to Houston 6-2. The Astros moved 5 1/2 games ahead of Texas atop the AL West.
Lewis threw two of three wild pitches by the Rangers — both during a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with former Texas player Justin Smoak's two-run homer to break a 2-all tie in the fifth inning. Smoak's 13th long ball hit off the facade of the upper deck in right field and extended Toronto's franchise record to 16 straight road games with a homer.
Encarnacion's second grand slam of the season — both against the Rangers — and the eighth of his career ended a stretch of six straight batters reaching to start the sixth. Pillar's eighth homer was one of his three hits.
After Texas reliever Spencer Patton walked two and didn't retire any of the five batters he faced, Sam Freeman walked four more. Anthony Bass had a wild pitch that scored Troy Tulowitzki for a 12-2 lead in the seventh as Toronto set a club record with its 20th game of at least 10 runs.
Price retired the last nine hitters he faced after the Rangers started the fourth with a single by Mike Napoli and a walk to Elvis Andrus, who was celebrating his 27th birthday. The left-handed ace is 4-0 in five starts since the Blue Jays acquired him from Detroit the day before the July 31 trade deadline.
It was Price's second straight win in Texas, where he had a 7.36 ERA in five starts coming in. He allowed five hits and two runs with eight strikeouts in his first appearance at the Rangers since a complete game in Tampa Bay's 5-2 victory in an AL wild-card tiebreaker in 2013.
Beltre put Texas ahead 2-0 with his 407th homer, tying with Duke Snider at No. 51 on the career list. Shin-Soo Choo had a two-run single among his three hits.
Lewis, going for a career high in wins, allowed six hits and five runs — four earned — in five innings.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor said doctors saved the nail on his right middle finger after a grounder almost tore it off Tuesday. He eventually left the game and still had a splint Wednesday. He's hopeful for a Thursday return. ... C Carlos Corporan (sprained left thumb) started a rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco. It's his second rehab stint after the first was cut short Aug. 3 by soreness in the thumb.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (11-7, 3.27 ERA) makes his second career start against Texas. He beat the Rangers 5-1 in Texas two years ago.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 3.25) goes for his 100th career win. The first 89 came during his eight seasons with Milwaukee.
Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press