Jays win home-run derby, deal White Sox first defeat

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Josh Donaldson (20) gestures to the White Sox dugout in front of catcher Welington Castillo after his solo home run during sixth inning baseball action in Toronto on Monday, April 2, 2018. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO — Josh Donaldson doesn’t care for White Sox first-base coach Daryl Boston’s referee’s whistle, and he let everyone know it after hitting a game-tying home run against Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez in the sixth inning of the Blue Jays’ 4-2 victory Monday night.

When the Jays designated hitter crossed home plate after his home-run trot, he looked into the visitors’ dugout and acted like he was blowing his own whistle, leaving Boston in stitches. Donaldson wasn’t amused, though, judging by his look toward Boston after Yolmer Sanchez retired him with a sparkling play in the fourth.


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Since last season, Boston has taken to blowing the whistle when Sox defenders make good plays in the field, and at Rogers Centre, with the roof covering the field, it rings loud and — as Donaldson might say, judging from his reaction — annoyingly clear.

Boston sensed that and admitted giving it a couple of extra toots.

“I was informed ahead of time that he wasn’t particularly thrilled about the whistle, and he showed me he was not,” Boston said. “So I hit the whistle a couple of times hard before he went to the plate, and he responded. You can pin that homer on me.’’

Boston, who also works with the outfielders, has used a whistle for some time to get their attention from the dugout because he can’t whistle on his own.

The whistle is getting known around the league, though. At Kauffman Stadium, “They don’t care for it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sometimes when [the Royals] score, they play the ‘Blow the Whistle’ song,’’ Boston said.

“From time to time, I like to blow it between innings. It was all in fun.’’

Donaldson wasn’t amused.

“It is what it is,’’ Donaldson said. “If that’s what he’s going to do, I’m not going to tell him not to do it.’’

Say this much for Donaldson, he did get the last laugh — so to speak.

“As soon as I stepped into the box, he started blowing it before anything even happened,’’ Donaldson said. “So I felt like I’d return the favor.”

Donaldson’s homer was sandwiched between two by the Sox’ Welington Castillo, the first against left-hander Jaime Garcia in his first start as a Blue Jay and the second against right-hander Seung Hwan Oh, giving the Sox a 2-1 lead in the seventh. But Russell Martin connected for a two-run shot to left against right-hander Danny Farquhar in the bottom of the seventh to put the Jays in front 3-2.

That left Lopez with a no-decision after he threw six strong innings of one-run ball, the only hit allowed besides Donaldson’s opposite-field poke inside the right-field foul line an infield single by Curtis Granderson. Lopez gave the Sox their best start in three games, striking out six and walking one but leaving after six innings after 100 pitches.

“I felt good,’’ said Lopez, who touched 99 mph on the scoreboard gun in the first inning before settling into the mid-90s for most of the outing. “I was getting ahead of hitters with the fastball, and the changeup was good.’’

Farquhar gave up another long ball to ninth-place batter Aledmys Diaz leading off the eighth. The Jays had four hits, three of them homers, on a night when home runs accounted for all of the runs.

For Castillo, in his third game with the Sox, it was the sixth multihomer game of his career, the last three all against the Jays.

The Jays improved to 3-2 with their third consecutive win; the Sox fell to 2-1.

Manager Rick Renteria viewed the whole whistle-blowing caper as “just having fun. It’s not done maliciously; it’s just having fun.’’

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