Coverage of today's Cards and Blue Jays game can be heard on Newstalk 97.3 WTIM beginning at 11:30am.
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie both homered, Marcus Stroman spun six-plus strong innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays secured their sixth straight win with a 3-1 decision over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Rogers Centre.
Bautista belted a solo shot in the third, while Lawrie launched a tiebreaking blast in the fifth to make a winner out of Stroman (3-0), who struck out seven and allowed just one run on seven hits with two walks to pick up the win in his second big league start.
Jose Reyes finished 3-for-3 with an RBI for Toronto, which has won 15 of its last 17 games.
Lance Lynn (6-4) absorbed the loss after giving up two runs on six hits and four walks with six strikeouts over five frames.
"There's good and there's bad," said Lynn. "I thought I made some pitches to have some better results. There is the good and the bad. That's part of it."
Allen Craig collected two of St. Louis' seven hits and drove in the lone run for the Cardinals, who went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and suffered their fifth loss in six games.
St. Louis struck first in the opening frame as Matt Carpenter worked a leadoff walk before moving to third on Matt Holliday's one-out, ground-rule double.
Craig then ripped a single to right to plate Carpenter, but Bautista gunned down Holliday at the plate for the second out before Stroman induced a groundout from Yadier Molina to keep the margin at one.
Bautista brought the Blue Jays even with his leadoff blast to left in the third, while Lawrie put Toronto on top for good with his two-out shot to center field in the fifth.
Toronto seemed poised to tack on some runs in sixth after Anthony Gose and Reyes smacked back-to-back singles before Melky Cabrera reached on Carpenter's fielding error to load the bases with no outs.
However, Bautista followed with a sharp liner to second that Daniel Descalso snared before flipping to shortstop Jhonny Peralta to double off Reyes at second. Peralta then fired to first baseman Craig to complete the 4-6-3 triple
"I did everything I could," said Bautista of the play. "I laid off two bad pitches, swung at the one in the zone and hit it hard just right at somebody. It's out of my control."
The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the eighth, as Lawrie and Dioner Navarro opened the inning with consecutive singles before Reyes followed two batters later with a run-scoring base hit to right for a 3-1 lead.
Casey Janssen then fired a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 11th save of the season.
Stroman made his first major league start on May 31 and yielded just one run on five hits with six strikeouts in a 12-2 victory over the Royals ... Toronto swept a three-game series in St. Louis in the last meeting between these teams on June 24-26, 2011 ... Toronto leads the majors with 89 homers this season ... St. Louis stranded nine baserunners in the setback ... St. Louis turned
its first triple play since May 5, 2005 against the San Diego Padres.