Yangervis Solarte provided power from both sides of the plate to help the Toronto Blue Jays end a record stretch of futility against left-handed pitchers.
Solarte hit two home runs Eddie Yarbrough Jersey
, Devon Travis also connected and the Blue Jays beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Friday night, their fifth straight home victory.
Washington has lost five of seven on the road.
Justin Smoak broke a 3-3 tie with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and Solarte, batting left-handed, followed with a two-run shot off right-hander Justin Miller. Solarte was batting right-handed when he homered in Toronto’s three-run third, a solo blast off left-hander Gio Gonzalez (6-3).
”I was lucky enough that I had good opportunities and we took advantage of it,” Solarte said.
The victory snapped Toronto’s team-worst 11-game losing streak against lefty starting pitchers.
”We’re better than that,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ”That shouldn’t happen like that.”
Solarte is the ninth player in Blue Jays history to homer from both sides of the plate. The last to do it was Kendrys Morales against Oakland on July 27, 2017. The homers were Solarte’s 13th and 14th of the season, extending his team lead and coming a year after his career high of 18.
It’s the second time Solarte has achieved the feat, having done it also against Arizona on May 27, 2016 while with the San Diego Padres.
”It’s hard but it’s my job,” Solarte said.
Travis hit a two-run home run in the third Marcus Cannon Jersey
, his third.
Seunghwan Oh (2-2) pitched one inning for the win and Ryan Tepera stranded the potential tying run at third base in the ninth to earn his fourth save in seven opportunities.
Wilmer Difo hit a leadoff single in the ninth, then stole second and advanced on a fly ball. Tepera escaped by getting Adam Eaton to ground out and striking out Trea Turner.
Gonzalez allowed season-worsts of five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander has allowed four or more earned runs in consecutive outings.
Travis singled to begin the seventh and Teoscar Hernandez followed with a fly ball that right fielder Eaton lost in the twilight.
”I had it off the bat but as soon as it goes up, it’s a pretty helpless feeling,” Eaton said.
After the ball dropped for a ground-rule double, Miller came on and surrendered Smoak’s sacrifice fly and Solarte’s two-run blast.
”We had one fly ball that we didn’t see that kind of changed things real quick,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.
The homer was the first earned run allowed by Miller in nine appearances this season.
”I was trying to throw a fastball away and it just kind of cut on me,” Miller said. ”Hats off to him, he hit a good pitch.”
Aaron Sanchez allowed three runs and six hits in six innings for Toronto.
The Blue Jays have hit an ML-leading six home runs on 3-0 counts this season. No other team had more than two entering play Friday.
FIRST OF THE SEASON
Washington’s Daniel Murphy singled in the eighth, snapping a 0-for-10 stretch since he returned from right knee surgery Tuesday.
Nationals: 1B Matt Adams took a pitch off his left hand while squaring to bunt in the second. Mark Reynolds replaced Adams on defense an inning later. ”I knew from the get-go it was bad,” Adams said. He is day to day. Murphy will DH against the Blue Jays this weekend and return to the infield Monday when Washington returns home to face the Yankees.
Blue Jays: One week after he became eligible to be activated off the disabled list, 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf) has yet to run at full speed. Donaldson may play at least one minor league rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo before rejoining the Blue Jays. … RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) will make a second rehab start Monday, this time at Double-A New Hampshire. Stroman pitched 4 1/3 innings at Class-A Dunedin Wednesday. … OF Steve Pearce (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment at Buffalo Saturday. Pearce has not played since May 3. … RHP Deck McGuire was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers.
Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (10-2 Kam Chancellor Jersey
, 2.00) faces Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrads (3-6, 5.09). Scherzer is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in eight career starts against Toronto. His June 10 loss against San Francisco snapped a streak of nine straight winning decisions. Estrada beat Baltimore on June 10, ending an eight-start winless stretch.
Kevin Durant helped the defending champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Golden State Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on Saturday.
Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors’ intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.
Thompson found his shot and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots, while 7-footer JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr’s center-by-committee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night at Oracle Arena.
76ERS 130, HEAT 103
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut P.J. Williams Jersey
, and Philadelphia romped again without Joel Embiid, beating Miami for its 17th straight win.
Embiid was a spectator in Game 1 of the first-round series because of a broken orbital bone around his left eye. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series. The Sixers could end this one early with Embiid back in the lineup.
Simmons dished and dazzled in the paint and the Heat had no answer for Sixers reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one. They used a 15-0 run in the third in their first postseason game in five seasons under coach Brett Brown to get the rout rolling.
JJ Redick scored 28 points to lead the Sixers, who host Game 2 on Monday. Belinelli had 25 and Ilyasova 17.
RAPTORS 114, WIZARDS 106
TORONTO (AP) – Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Toronto snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff series openers by beating Washington.
DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12, and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round against Philadelphia in 2001.
Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.
The top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, Toronto made 16 of 30 3-point attempts, with Miles making four Riley Reiff Jersey
, and Ibaka and Wright each hitting three.
The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday.
John Wall had 23 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, while Markieff Morris had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
PELICANS 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 95
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Anthony Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and New Orleans beat Portland in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Jrue Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans held on after Portland erased almost all of a 19-point deficit.
Rajon Rondo finished with 17 assists, eight rebounds and six points as New Orleans won the backcourt battle on top of Davis dominating the interior.
Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while McCollum had 19 points.
The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the NBA playoffs. Nikola Mirotic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and also blocked four shots to help Davis earn the first victory of his playoff career. Authentic Womens Arden Key Jersey