Estrada struggles as Jays lose to Philly

The Canadian Press
Dhiren Mahiban

TORONTO–Hampered by a back injury, Marco Estrada struggled through his start yesterday.
Estrada (7-10) surrendered five earned runs on seven hits and walked four over parts of just three innings as the Toronto Blue Jays fell 8-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I just wasn’t making pitches, had no command of my fastball or changeup,” said Estrada. “Threw some OK curveballs, but for the most part, I just had no idea where the ball was going.”
Estrada left his July 3 start against the Mets after just a third of an inning and landed on the 10-day disabled list with a left glute strain, but says he doesn’t plan on missing time with his nagging back ailment.
“I’m good enough to be out there and I don’t plan on missing anything,” he said. “I’m going to work through this and maybe get a cortisone shot or something and numb it up and be ready to go for the next one.
“I haven’t really had much issues with it this year, but obviously the last two weeks or so it’s been bothering me. Not really sure what happened, but it is what it is. Obviously I’m going to look into it (in the off-season) and get it all fixed up because I can’t keep doing this.”
Wilson Ramos went 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs for the Phillies 70-60), who won for just the second time in eight games.
Vince Velasquez (9-9) allowed two earned on three hits while striking out six and walking three in five innings in the win.
Kendrys Morales hit a home run in his seventh consecutive game–eight homers in total–as the Blue Jays (60-70) had their season-high five game win streak snapped.
Morales got Toronto on the board in the bottom of the third, taking Velasquez’s 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run homer, his 21st of the season.
With the home run, Morales surpassed Jose Cruz Jr. (2001) for the longest home run streak in franchise history.
The Blue Jays designated hitter will donate a bat from the streak to Cooperstown while yesterday’s ball will be displayed in the team’s trophy case in the clubhouse.
“Really happy that they want my bat, and they want something,” Morales said through an interpreter. “It’s amazing what I’ve been doing so far so it’s really nice.”
The 35-year-old also tied the fourth-longest home run streak in MLB history and is just the seventh player all-time with a streak of at least seven games.
Morales says he made adjustments at the plate after his early-season struggles.
“I’m not moving too much,” he said. “I’m not dragging too much so I don’t see the ball moving too much either. Either fastball or off-speed, I’m seeing the ball pretty well because I’m sitting back.
“My bat was a little bit horizontal so I wasn’t getting to the pitch middle or inside. I just tried to bring my knob a little bit (closer) to the catcher so I can cover a little bit more and (I’m) just a little bit faster to the ball.”
With one out in the first, Rhys Hoskins took Estrada’s 2-0 pitch deep for his 26th home run of the season. Carlos Santana followed up by putting the right-hander’s 1-1 change-up over the right-field.
Philly took a 3-0 lead on Ramos’s second-inning ground rule double, which scored Scott Kingrey.
Maikel Franco hit a two-run home run in the third. Estrada then issued a walk to Odubel Herrera before being relieved by Justin Shafer.
The Phillies took a 6-2 lead in the eighth when Cesar Hernandez scored on a Santana sac-fly.
Ramos made it 8-2 when he hit a two-run home run off Tyler Clippard.
Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run in the eighth, cutting Philly’s lead to 8-3.
In other interleague action yesterday, the Giants beat the Rangers 3-1; and the Diamondbacks sunk the Mariners 5-2.
In American League play yesterday, the Rays stung the Red Sox 9-1; the White Sox tamed the Tigers 7-2; the Athletics beat the Twins 6-2; the Indians defeated the Royals 12-5; the Astros beat the Angels 3-1; and the Yankees downed the Orioles 5-3.
And in National League action, the Braves blanked the Marlins 4-0; the Nationals dominated the Mets 15-0; the Brewers sunk the Pirates 7-4; the Cubs blanked the Red 9-0; the Cardinals conquered the Rockies 12-3; and the Dodgers downed the Padres 7-3.