Oct 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; General view of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals in game five of the ALCS at Rogers Centre.
TORONTO — The San Diego Padres make the first trip in franchise history to Toronto on a homer-hitting roll.
The Padres will be playing in a home-run friendly park, the Rogers Centre, against a team that also hits the long ball in the Blue Jays.
The Padres had home runs from Alex Dickerson and Ryan Schimpf in the eighth inning Sunday to tie the game against Washington before scoring four in the ninth to beat the Nationals 10-6 in the rubber match of the three-game series.
The Padres have homered in a club-record 22 consecutive games. It is the longest streak in the National League since the 2006 Atlanta Braves homered in 23 straight games.
Schimpf, a former Blue Jays minor-leaguer, has bit nine homers in July, a club record for a month for a rookie.
The Padres finish a 10-game trip with the three-game series in Toronto while the Blue Jays are in the midst of a nine-game homestand that ends next Sunday.
Toronto held the Seattle Mariners to one hit Sunday to earn a 2-0 victory and avoid being swept in the three-game series. It came the day after the Mariners drubbed the Blue Jays 14-5.
"That’s the beauty of baseball," manager John Gibbons said. "After what happened yesterday, you can turn around and throw a one-hit shutout. Today was also a game where guys were pitching out of necessity, because we were pretty beat up down in the bullpen."
The Blue Jays could have Jose Bautista back in the lineup after the right fielder played his third game at Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday. He has not played since June 16, when he injured his toe in Philadelphia.
Winning two of three from the Nationals — their first series win over Washington since 2011 — provided some relief for the Padres, who opened the trip by losing four games to the St. Louis Cardinals.
"We’ve been on the road for a little bit, and it’s definitely good to come here against a team like this and get two wins out of it,"Schimpf told reporters in Washington.
As the trade deadline approaches, there are rumors swirling around both teams. Toronto has been mentioned as one of the teams inquiring about two San Diego players, right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.
Upton was given Sunday’s game off.
"I think there’s a lot swirling around him right now," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Just felt like the right time to put him down, let him have a day to rest. … There’s, to my knowledge, nothing imminent at this moment, but we know what time of year this is and everything remains fluid."
Upton is batting .150 (3-for-20) since the All-Star break.
The Padres will start start right-hander Colin Rea (5-4, 5.01 ERA) on Monday against Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (10-1, 2.87 ERA).
Rea, 29, is coming off a loss at St. Louis on Wednesday when he allowed eight hits, three walks and four runs. The Padres are 10-7 in his starts this season. He has never faced the Blue Jays.
Sanchez, 24, who appeared in the All-Star Game in San Diego, has not lost since April 22. He has never faced the Padres.
He allowed six hits, no walks and one run while striking out five on Tuesday in a 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his first full season as a starter, the Blue Jays are trying to control Sanchez’s innings, which could mean a move to the bullpen eventually.
It would seem likely in that event that the Blue Jays would need to trade for a starter to take his place, which would be hard to do from a quality standpoint. Drew Hutchison, who is pitching at Triple-A Buffalo, is another option but he was dropped from the major league rotation late last season.
"You watch everything he’s doing, you almost think (it would be) crazy to move him out of there," Gibbons said. "He’s a young kid, he is strong. He is the guy, really, that I would view out of all the guys out there, he’d hold up probably more than any of them. But you look at what has happened. Nobody knows if guys actually get injured because they protect guys and they still get injured. Nobody can really say."