TORONTO (AP) – In an afternoon full of big hits for the San Diego Padres, it was left to ninth-place batter Austin Hedges to register the biggest.
Hedges connected for a grand slam and the Padres hit a franchise-record seven home runs to romp past the Toronto Blue Jays 19-4 Saturday for their fifth straight win.
After being part of last year’s 66-96 Padres team, which gave up 10 or more runs 12 times, including a 20-5 loss against Arizona on July 7, Hedges is just glad things are looking a lot better this season with San Diego four games over .500.
“It’s a good feeling because we’ve been through so many of them,” said the fifth-year catcher. “It’s a lonely feeling over there. It’s tough to go through that together with your boys and come back in the clubhouse and show up the next day expecting to win.”
The Padres’ run total was the most in the majors this season. They nearly matched the franchise record of 20 runs, done twice and most recently in Montreal in 2001.
Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe each hit two home runs and Ian Kinsler and Eric Hosmer also homered. The previous team record was six, set in Cincinnati on July 17, 1998.
Hedges drove in five runs. Myers went 2 for 2, drove in four and scored four times, and Renfroe had four hits, scored four and drove in three.
Myers hit the team-record seventh homer in a five-run eighth that included homers by Hosmer and Renfroe off Sam Gaviglio.
“I did not know that,” Myers said of the record. “That’s pretty cool but it’s not surprising with the guys we’ve got here. We’ve got a lot of power in this lineup and a lot of guys that can really hit.”
Rookie Cal Quantrill (1-2), from nearby Port Hope, Ontario, and the son of former Blue Jays and Padres pitcher, Paul Quantrill, went six innings to earn his first major league win in his fourth career start. He became just the third Canadian-born pitcher to claim his first career win north of the border.
The 24-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high nine, while surrendering three earned runs on homers by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Justin Smoak, the only hits Quantrill allowed.
“It was awesome, a ton of fun,” he said. “Obviously it’s a little easier when the team puts up 19 runs, but it was fantastic. It was everything that I could have hoped for minus a couple pitches.”
Myers and Kinsler hit back-to-back home runs in the second, a feat duplicated by Hosmer and Renfroe in the eighth. Hedges launched San Diego’s first slam of the season in the fourth.
Rookie Josh Naylor, from nearby Mississauga, Ont., had given the Padres a first-inning lead with his first big league hit in his second career game, an RBI double. Naylor and Hosmer each had three of the Padres’ 20 hits.
In his third start of the year, Edwin Jackson (0-2) was roughed up for the second straight game. After surrendering six runs over five innings to Boston on Monday, the right-hander lasted just four innings, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits.
Toronto, hitting an MLB-low .197 entering the game, has now lost 10 of its last 12 home games and fell to 1-7-1 in home series.
Manager Charlie Montoyo was at a loss to explain his team’s home form.
“I don’t know why that is,” he said. “Hopefully it changes.”
San Diego put two on and two outs in the ninth against Luke Maile, a catcher who pitched the final inning as the seventh Blue Jay to take the mound. Hedges, the San Diego catcher, took three strikes to end the inning, but denied that he was paying any courtesy to a fellow catcher.
“No, man,” he said. “He was trying to get me out and I was trying to hit a homer. He threw me knuckleballs and stuff. It’s fun to see a catcher doing that. I didn’t want to punch out but I’ll tip my cap to him.”
Maile had begun the inning by getting Renfroe to look at strike three.
With both Quantrill and Naylor in the lineup for San Diego, it marked the first time in which two Canadian-born Padres played in the same regular-season game. The duo were also the first two Canadian-born players to play in a game for the visiting team against the Blue Jays since Justin Morneau and Scott Diamond did just that for Minnesota on July 7, 2013, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
Having gone more than a month without a home run, Hedges’ grand slam was his second straight day with a home run after opening the scoring during Friday’s win.
Padres: OF Franmil Reyes, San Diego’s leading home run hitter with 15, was given the day off Saturday to rest his knees. He tore his meniscus back in November in the Dominican Winter League and manager Andy Green opted to play it safe on the artificial turf of Rogers Centre. Naylor replaced him in right field.
Padres rookie RHP Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93) faces Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (2-6, 2.81) on Sunday. Paddack makes his second interleague start, having picked up the win back on April 24 against Seattle. Stroman makes just his second start against San Diego, taking a no-decision after 6 2/3 innings in July 2016.
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