PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia had an opportunity to earn the top spot in the National League East for the first time since 2011 but Toronto had other plans.
Justin Smoak homered, Sam Gaviglio struck out six over six innings and Ryan Tepera escaped a ninth-inning jam for his first save to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
Yangervis Solarte and Kevin Pillar added RBI doubles for the Blue Jays, who opened a nine-game road trip after going 1-6 and getting outscored 43-22 on a seven-game homestand against Oakland and the Angels.
Gaviglio (2-0) won for the second time in place of injured starter Marcus Stroman (right shoulder fatigue), allowing three runs on three hits — including the first career homer by Phillies starter Zach Eflin.
Carlos Santana also homered for Philadelphia, which began play a half-game behind Atlanta for first place in the NL East.
Tepera, filling in for closer Roberto Osuna, got his first save in his fourth opportunity — but it wasn’t easy. After getting Scott Kingery to fly out leading off the inning, Tepera gave up a single to Jorge Alfaro and a double by Pedro Florimon to put runners on second and third. Alfaro scored on a wild pitch, that also moved Florimon to third. Tepera walked the next two batters to load the bases with one out before striking out Rhys Hoskins looking and getting Odubel Herrera to ground out.
Earlier on Friday, Major League Baseball extended the administrative leave for Osuna through June 4. Osuna was arrested earlier this month on assault charges.
The Blue Jays scored three runs with two outs in the first off Eflin (1-1).
Josh Donaldson reached on Teoscar Hernandez’s infield single deep in the hole at short, Hernandez scored on Solarte’s double to right and Pillar’s two-base hit to left plated Solarte.
Gaviglio retired eight straight to start the game before Eflin’s drive into the Phillies bullpen in right-center to pull Philadelphia within two runs at 3-1.
Smoak drove Eflin’s 1-0, 93-mph fastball into the seats in deep left with one out in the fifth. The two-run shot made it 5-1, and the Blue Jays went ahead 6-1 later in the frame when Russell Martin singled up the middle to score Solarte.
Herrera got just the second hit off Gaviglio with two outs in the sixth, a double to left-center, and Santana followed with a 409-foot shot to right to pull Philadelphia within 6-3.
Consecutive doubles to start the eighth by Cesar Hernandez and Hoskins off Tyler Clippard made it 6-4, but Clippard got the next three outs to escape more damage. Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 28 consecutive games with the hit.
Toronto improved to 13-3 against the Phillies since 2012.
WHAT A CATCH!
Herrera robbed Curtis Granderson of extra bases in the second inning with a leaping grab against the wall in left-center in the second inning.
WHAT A THROW!
Alfaro nailed Teoscar Hernandez trying to steal second in the third inning to complete a double play after Solarte struck out swinging. It was another hard throw from Alfaro, who entered with the five fastest throws to second by a catcher this season. His hardest throw, 91.3-mph, occurred May 13 against the Mets.
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki was cleared to run on flat ground. Tulowitzki had surgery in April for bone spurs in both feet. He is not close to a return, though, manager John Gibbons said. … Stroman will play long toss on Saturday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session next week.
Phillies: Alfaro was shaken up in the first inning when a pitch by Eflin bounced before hitting him on the inside of the right arm. Alfaro shook it off and stayed in the game.
Blue Jays LHP Jaime Garcia (2-3, 6.28) returns to the rotation from a stint on the DL that began on May 16 due to shoulder soreness to face RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.37) on Saturday.