PHOENIX (AP) -On their previous homestand, the Arizona Diamondbacks went a miserable 0-6.
They've performed vastly better during this stay at Chase Field.
Chris Young drove in four runs and Edwin Jackson was stellar through his first seven innings to help Arizona to an 8-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.
Adam LaRoche added two RBIs, and Conor Jackson and Mark Reynolds each drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who extended their season-high winning streak to four games. Arizona will try to complete the three-game sweep and a 5-0 homestand Sunday.
``We're jumping on top early on teams and putting good at_bats together,' Reynolds said. ``We went through a little slump there for about a week and couldn't string anything together. Now we're stringing stuff together.'
The Diamondbacks have scored at least eight runs in each of the past four games and their starting pitchers have worked into the eighth inning in three of those contests.
``People are starting to heat up,' Edwin Jackson said. ``The pitching staff is starting to do well. Things are starting to jell. That's what we've been waiting for.'
Jackson (3-5) won consecutive decisions for the first time this season after giving up five runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings.
``That's two starts in a row where he has had a different look in his eye,' manager A.J. Hinch said.
Jackson struck out nine, walked none and kept Toronto hitters off-balance for much of the game. He retired the side in order in five of the first seven innings, before the Blue Jays struck for four runs on homers by Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hill in the eighth.
``The two home runs, fastballs up just ran back across the plate,' Jackson said. ``Pretty much the only two pitches that ran back across the plate all night.'
Chad Qualls pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 12 tries, and third in as many days.
Toronto starter Dana Eveland (3-4) lasted just 1 1-3 innings - the shortest start of his career - after giving up eight runs on eight hits and two walks.
``I felt like I was throwing the ball all right, but then I went back and looked at the tape and balls were just up,' said Eveland, who has allowed 17 runs in his last 9 1-3 innings. ``Not so much in and out was an issue, although I did miss middle trying to go in on righties. The biggest issue was it was elevated. When you are pitching above the knees when you are trying to throw a sinker, those aren't too hard to hit.'
Encarnacion's three-run homer was his fourth in two days, and he is 5 for 15 with nine RBIs in five games since returning from the disabled list. All five hits have been homers.
Toronto increased its major league-leading home run total to 74, but the offense came too late.
Lyle Overbay also had an RBI for Toronto.
Arizona scored four runs in each of the first two innings, then held on from there. It had only one hit and two baserunners the rest of the game.
``The game was lost in the first inning; our bullpen did a great job,' Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
Young drove in two with a double in the first and two more with a single in the second. LaRoche had RBI singles in both innings.
The Diamondbacks scored at least eight runs in four straight games for the fourth time in team history and the first time since April 23-26, 2001, according to STATS, LLC.
NOTES: The last time Toronto gave up at least eight runs in consecutive games was April 29-30, 2009, at Kansas City. ... Arizona has hit 10 doubles in the last two games combined. ... The Diamondbacks won consecutive series for the second time this season. ... Fans in the upper deck held up a sign that read ``Boycott Hate,' in reference to Arizona's new immigration law.
The Associated Press News Service
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