- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Toronto Blue Jays loaded the bases in the ninth inning with the heart of their order coming to the plate.

They just couldn’t get the big hit they needed and came away with a tight loss instead.

Edwin Encarnacion struck out, Michael Saunders popped out, and the Blue Jays fell 3-2 to the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

The Blue Jays lost for the fourth time in five games. They have been struggling since Jose Bautista went on the disabled list with turf toe injury a week ago, but they were in position to pull this one out.

They had the bases loaded with one out against Chicago closer David Robertson when Encarnacion swung at and missed a low 3-2 fastball for his fourth strikeout. Saunders then popped out to shortstop Tim Anderson to end the game.

“You tell me we have the bases loaded in the ninth inning with Eddie up, I like our chances,” Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar said. “He just didn’t seem like himself today. Part of that is the off day and part of that is baseball, but that’s the guy we want up there.”

Melky Cabrera homered, Todd Frazier drove in the go-ahead run with a single and the White Sox started a six-game homestand on a winning note after talking three of four at Boston.

Cabrera drove a solo homer off Aaron Sanchez in the fifth and finished with three hits against his former team.

Frazier broke a 2-2 tie with a sharp single to left with two outs in the seventh against Jesse Chavez (4-2) after Anderson led off with a double under third baseman Josh Donaldson’s glove.

Robertson dodged that jam in the ninth for his 100th career save and 19th in 21 chances this season.

Nate Jones (3-2) and Zach Duke each worked a scoreless inning in relief. Carlos Rodon gave up two runs and six hits while pitching into the sixth.

Ex-Blue Jay Brett Lawrie had three hits, and the White Sox came out on top despite going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

“It feels like every game we’ve got a shot to win,” Frazier said. “You saw it in Fenway. We took three out of four. We should have taken four out of four. But we feel good every day.”

Pillar had two hits and drove in two runs for Toronto, and Saunders scored twice. Sanchez went six innings, allowing two runs and eight hits, but the Blue Jays came up short again.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper got ejected after Rodon was called for a balk in the sixth. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons got tossed with one out in the ninth after pinch-hitter Darwin Barney swung at a two-strike pitch in the dirt that got away from the catcher.

Barney started heading to first, but the pitch was ruled a foul ball. He wound up walking.

“You’re not begging for your hitter to strike out by any means, but we were looking for a baserunner,” Gibbons said.

ROSTER MOVE

The Blue Jays promoted outfielder Junior Lake from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned outfielder Darrell Ceciliani to the minor league club.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak was out of the lineup and scheduled to get an X-ray after taking a foul ball off his left knee Wednesday. … Ezequiel Carrera led off and played left field after sitting out Wednesday’s game with a sore Achilles’ tendon. … LHPs Brett Cecil (lat muscle) and Franklin Morales (shoulder) will have their rehab assignments moved from Class-A Dunedin to Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. … Saunders served as DH to get him off his feet, Gibbons said.

White Sox: The White Sox held 1B Jose Abreu out of the lineup because of sore legs, though he was available off the bench. … GM Rick Hahn said the White Sox are “not too far away” from sending 1B Justin Morneau on a rehab assignment. Morneau, who signed June 9, has been taking grounders as he works his way back from left elbow surgery in December. … Hahn said surgery is a possibility for RHP Zach Putnam (inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his right elbow), who got a second opinion on Friday.

UP NEXT

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-8, 4.08 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays, with RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.29) pitching for Chicago.

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