ATLANTA (AP) — John Gibbons thought Marcus Stroman might be the perfect choice to stop the Toronto Blue Jays' skid after three straight losses to Atlanta.
The manager didn't expect Stroman to provide such a lift with his bat, though.
Stroman threw 5 2/3 strong innings and hit the second homer by a pitcher in Blue Jays history to lead Toronto over Julio Teheran and the Braves 9-0 on Thursday night.
"Stroman has a way of doing something if we need something desperately," Gibbons said. "He comes through."
Stroman had a pinch-hit double against St. Louis on April 25 but was shocked by his opposite-field homer on an 0-2 pitch from Teheran in the fourth inning.
"I've never hit an opposite-field homer, even in batting practice, in my life," he said.
Stroman's first career homer was the first by a Toronto pitcher since Mark Hendrickson's shot against Montreal on June 21, 2003.
Darrell Ceciliani, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, had a run-scoring double in the first and a two-run homer in the third before leaving with a left shoulder injury. Ceciliani started in center field after Kevin Pillar was suspended two games without pay for yelling an anti-gay slur at Braves reliever Jason Motte during Wednesday night's game.
Teheran hit Jose Bautista with a pitch in the first inning, a day after Bautista's bat flip following a home run drew criticism from the Braves. Teheran's first pitch to Bautista was inside. The second pitch hit Bautista's thigh. Bautista walked to first base as home plate umpire Paul Emmel issued warnings to both benches.
Bautista had two hits, including a double.
Teheran (3-4) allowed a career-high nine runs in three-plus innings in his fourth straight home loss.
The Braves, who scored eight or more runs in three straight wins over Toronto with Freddie Freeman in the lineup, saw their offense disappear after learning the first baseman will miss about 10 weeks with a fractured left wrist.
Freeman was hurt when hit by a pitch from Toronto's Aaron Loup in Wednesday night's 8-4 win over the Blue Jays.
Freeman wore a green cast Thursday as he watched the game from the dugout.
Stroman (4-2) allowed seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He improved to 6-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 12 career interleague games, including nine starts.
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