CHICAGO — The Toronto Blue Jays were sailing along after Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson staked them to a commanding lead when tempers flared.
Bullpens emptied. And in a flash, it was over.
A heated exchange between Marcus Stroman and Chicago’s Tim Anderson was one of the few tense moments in a rather routine win for Toronto.
Smoak hit his 31st homer, Donaldson homered and drove in three runs, and the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 8-4 on Tuesday night.
Smoak and Donaldson each connected for the second straight night and third time in five games. Donaldson also had a sacrifice fly and RBI double.
Stroman (10-5) went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He was winless in his previous three starts despite a 1.89 ERA in that stretch.
Stroman exchanged words with Anderson as he batted leading off the seventh. They continued to go at it as Anderson walked back to the dugout after striking out.
The situation quickly cooled after both benches and dugouts emptied. Anderson was restrained, but there were no ejections. Of course, each player said the other was the instigator.
“It seemed like he wanted to talk the entire way back to the dugout after striking out,” Stroman said. “I got the ball back from Donaldson after throwing the ball around, and he was still continuing to talk, so I asked him what he was saying. He continued to talk more, so I walked toward the dugout. I thought he had a problem. I don’t understand why he would be running his mouth walking back to the dugout. It made zero sense to me.”
Why did it matter if Anderson was talking?
“No comment,” Stroman said.
Anderson said Stroman had words for him when he stepped out of the box and mumbled something after striking him out.
“I felt disrespected. I had to do what I had to do,” Anderson said.
He insisted he has no regrets, adding, “I stood up like I was supposed to and it happened.”
Toronto came out on top after dropping three of four and snapped a four-game road losing streak.
Chicago’s Kevan Smith hit a two-run homer batting for injured designated hitter Matt Davidson in the sixth. But the White Sox lost for the 18th time in 22 games.
Donaldson connected in the first and added a sacrifice fly in the third to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
Chicago’s Omar Narvaez tied it with a two-run double in the fourth, but Smoak’s two-run drive just beyond a leaping center fielder Leury Garcia with two outs in the fifth made it 4-2.
The Blue Jays added three more in the sixth while chasing Mike Pelfrey (3-9) after he retired the first two batters. Russell Martin hit a two-run, bases-loaded single off Gregory Infante, and Donaldson drove an RBI double off the center-field wall to make it 7-2.
Pelfrey gave up six runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
BLUE JAYS MOVE
Toronto designated LHP Brett Oberholtzer for assignment to make room for OF Nori Aoki, who was acquired Monday in a trade that sent left-hander Francisco Liriano to Houston.
White Sox: Davidson is day to day with a bruised right wrist after being hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. … Top prospect Yoan Moncada expects to miss two or three games after bruising his right knee in a frightening collision with OF Willy Garcia. Garcia, meanwhile, was put on the seven-day disabled list because of a concussion. The White Sox purchased infielder/outfielder Nicky Delmonico’s contract from Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday.
Toronto and Chicago wrap up a three-game series, with J.A. Happ (3-8, 4.15 ERA) starting for the Blue Jays and Derek Holland (5-10, 5.42) pitching for the White Sox in a matchup between left-handers. A 20-game winner last season, Happ is 0-3 in his past four outings. Holland has an 8.54 ERA in his past 11 starts.
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