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Blue Jays pile up home runs to complete three-game sweep of Tigers

TORONTO — Edwin Encarnacion homered for the fourth time in two games, only this time that was one small piece of the Toronto Blue Jays' offensive onslaught.

The Blue Jays continued to demoralize Detroit Tigers pitching, hitting four home runs in a 9-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre that completed a three-game sweep.

Josh Donaldson and Encarnacion each hit a solo home run, while Kevin Pillar and Russell Martin both connected for two-run shots. Ryan Goins added a two-run double and Donaldson an RBI single as Toronto reached 718 runs on the season, more than 100 better than the next-closest team.

Lately, Encarnacion has been leading the charge on that. He went 2 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, three short of Shawn Green's 1999 franchise record, and is hitting .409 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in that time.

Encarnacion's first-inning home run gave him 35 RBIs in August, a new franchise record for any month. He has an extra-base hit in eight straight games.

Pitching with a lead almost all afternoon, starter Mark Buehrle (14-6) cruised through six-plus innings, allowing one earned run on five hits. Buehrle got a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 46,625 when he exited in the seventh.

Strong starting pitching, sellouts and offensive outbursts have become commonplace in the month since the Blue Jays acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, ace David Price, outfielder Ben Revere and relievers La Troy Hawkins and Mark Lowe. They're 21-6 since adding those players and moved into first place in the American League East ahead of the New York Yankees.

With the Blue Jays' lineup chugging along, manager John Gibbons could afford to make a major change without disrupting production. The struggling Tulowitzki was moved down from the leadoff spot to fifth after striking out four times Saturday, with Revere batting first.

Tulowitzki doubled, one of the Blue Jays' six extra-base hits, and struck out twice. Revere went 0 for 4 with a walk.

None of that mattered as seven batters had at least a hit and five drove in a run. Mop-up duty was no trouble for the bullpen as Mark Lowe, Aaron Sanchez and Bo Schultz combined for three innings of relief.

Notes — Goins extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... The Blue Jays play host to the Cleveland Indians beginning Monday. ... Tigers starter Alfredo Simon (11-9) gave up six earned runs on six hits, including all four home runs. ... The Blue Jays wore Maple Leaf red caps in honour of Canadian baseball day.

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Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

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