TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays sizzled in August to surge into first place in the American League East. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at their monster month:
By going 21-6, the Blue Jays’ .778 winning percentage matched the 1938 New York Yankees, who own the American League record for victories in a month with 28 in 36 games that August.
Toronto’s 170 runs scored led the majors at an average of 6.30 a game, better than the New York Mets, and their 720 runs this season are 90 better than the next-closest team.
The Blue Jays outscored opponents by 87 runs, improving their major-league-best run differential to plus-191, which is 51 more than the National League-leading St. Louis Cardinals.
Their August run allowed the Blue Jays to make up 7 1/2 games in the American League East – going from six back of the New York Yankees on the morning of Aug. 1 to 1 1/2 up on Sept. 1.
No major-league team hit as many home runs last month as the Blue Jays, with MVP candidate Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion each contributing 11 and Jose Bautista adding 10.
Edwin Encarnacion had a hit in every single game he played in August, extending his hitting streak to 26 games, two short of Shawn Green’s franchise record set in 1999.
Trade-deadline pickup Troy Tulowitzki hit just .214 with a team-high 28 strikeouts, but with the rest of the lineup producing, it wasn’t a problem.
With David Price joining the starting rotation and LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe joining the bullpen, Toronto pitchers allowed a 2.83 earned-run average in August after a 4.18 ERA before the all-star break.
Left-handed reliever Brett Cecil, one of the longest tenured players on the team, was perfect in allowing zero runs on four hits in nine appearances in August.
The Blue Jays ended the month with eight straight sellouts at Rogers Centre to make it 14 on the season with a playoff spot getting closer and closer.