By IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Johan Camargo came up big from the bottom of the Atlanta Braves’ lineup.
The No. 9 batter hit his first career grand slam and went 4 for 5 with five RBIs, and the Braves beat the Blue Jays 11-4 on Tuesday night to snap Toronto’s home winning streak at seven games.
The bottom four hitters in Atlanta’s lineup, DH Kurt Suzuki, outfielders Charlie Culberson and Ender Inciarte, and third baseman Camargo, went 11 for 18 with five doubles and two home runs.
“When guys are doing that it always looks really good,” manager Brian Snitker said.
Atlanta set season highs with seven doubles and 10 extra-base hits.
“This team is just really good up and down the lineup,” Camargo said through a translator.
Camargo hit his seventh home run off Jaime Garcia (2-6) in the second, singled in the fourth, hit an RBI single in the fifth and doubled and scored in the eighth. He struck out in the ninth.
Culberson hit a solo homer and Inciarte had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves won for the sixth time in seven games. Reliever Sam Freeman (2-3) worked 2 1/3 innings for the victory.
Making his first start in Canada, Calgary-born right-hander Mike Soroka was replaced one out from qualifying for the win.
“He threw some good sinkers but a lot of stuff was right down the middle,” Snitker said.
Soroka allowed four runs and eight hits, including six doubles, in 4 2/3 innings.
“It was everything I imagined, for sure, coming out there and seeing a lot of Canadians, a lot of Canadian flags,” Soroka said. “Hearing the anthem was pretty special, too.”
Soroka took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous outing, June 13 against the New York Mets, but started this one by giving up a double to Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson.
Toronto put runners at second and third with two outs in the first but left-fielder Culberson made a great running catch on Kevin Pillar’s line drive before crashing hard into the video board section of the outfield wall. Culberson went down briefly but stayed in the game.
“That’s one of the first holy cow plays I saw,” a grateful Soroka said. “I definitely owe him dinner.”
Garcia retired the first five batters in order before Kurt Suzuki’s double in the second. Culberson and Inciarte walked and Garcia fell behind 2-0 on Camargo before giving up a towering shot that landed in the third deck.
“It was really kind of a special moment, something I’ll never forget,” Camargo said.
Culberson connected off Garcia to begin the third before Inciarte and Camargo chased Garcia with consecutive singles.
Garcia allowed five runs and five hits in three-plus innings, failing to finish the fourth for the second time in four starts. The left-hander has lost six straight decisions and is winless since April 17 against Kansas City, his third start of the season.
“It’s frustrating,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’m letting my team down.”
A lawyer for Blue Jays RHP Roberto Osuna said Monday that his client will plead not guilty to charges of assault. After he was arrested and charged May 8, Osuna was placed on administrative leave. On Monday, baseball extended Osuna’s leave through June 25. Osuna’s lawyer was in court Monday. The case is set to resume July 9.
Snitker was asked what he thought when Culberson went down following his collision with the wall.
“I was wondering if I’m going to be able to make it out there,” Snitker joked. “He’d be healed by the time I get there.”
Braves: OF Ronald Acuna (left knee) has taken batting practice and run the past two days in workouts at Atlanta’s spring training facility in Florida. Snitker said the highly touted Acuna should begin a rehab assignment “sooner rather than later.”
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) threw a 75-pitch simulated game Monday after his scheduled start at Double-A New Hampshire was rained out. Stroman is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays rotation during the coming weekend’s road series against the Angels. … OF Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) went 1 for 3 with a home run at Triple-A Buffalo, playing five innings in left field. Pearce was the DH in his previous two rehab games with the Bisons, Saturday and Sunday. … Toronto put RHP Sam Gaviglio on the paternity list and promoted INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from Buffalo.
Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-0, 1.93) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (8-3, 3.48) in Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. Sanchez faced Toronto twice last season, allowing 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings. Happ is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three June starts.
More AP baseball HERE