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June 24, 2013

Toronto on a tear

TORONTO — These are the Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion expected after a busy offseason.

Encarnacion homered and drove in four runs, Josh Johnson earned his first win of the season and the Blue Jays matched a team record by winning their 11th straight game Sunday, finishing a three-game sweep of Baltimore with a 13-5 win.

The Blue Jays have gone 28-15 since May 2, when they were a season-worst 10-21. They’ve won 15 of their past 18, outscoring their opponents 102-52 in that span.

“I’ve been waiting for this since the season started,” Encarnacion said. “I believe in this team so I knew things had to change, things had to become good for us. That’s the way right now and we enjoy it, enjoy the moment. I’m not surprised by this. I know this team is good and I know we can do it.”

Toronto has swept three consecutive series for the first time since 1998, the last time they won 11 straight. The Blue Jays also won 11 consecutive games in 1987.

“Everybody is doing their job, everybody is pitching in,” Johnson said. “It’s been impressive.”

Playing before a sellout crowd of 45,214, Toronto became the first team since Detroit in 2011 to win 11 straight.

“We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We shut down a really good team over there.”

The Blue Jays, who begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday, have not lost since a 10-6 defeat at the Chicago White Sox on June 10.

“A lot of guys have been in a good rhythm at the same time, which is kind of what we didn’t have to start the season,” catcher J.P. Arencibia said.

Ryan Flaherty hit two homers but Baltimore lost for the fifth time in eight games and allowed a season high in runs.

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