Cody Asche powers out of slump, Phils still lose 7-2 to Jays

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Cody Asche busted out of his slump in a big way. His teammates didn't follow along.
 
   Asche had a homer, two doubles and drove in both of Philadelphia's runs in a 7-2 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night.
 
   As the losses pile up, manager Pete Mackanin looks for small positives. Asche was a bright spot in the latest loss, the team's 19th in the last 25 games.
 
   "We're starving for offense so we're hoping Asche can provide some," Mackanin said.
 
   Asche hit his second homer into the second deck in right field in the bottom of the second.  His RBI double in the fourth cut the deficit to 4-2.
 
   "Been trying to do some things to help me be on time more, so I can square up my pitch more often," Asche said. "I think my first five or six games I had some pitches to do some damage on, and I kind of foul-tipped them. You're battling from there."
 
   Asche missed two months because of an oblique injury and is starting to find his groove.
 
   "No one wants to just be there, eating at-bats," he said. "When you're in the lineup, you want to bring something to the table for the team."
 
   Jeremy Hellickson (4-5) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings.
 
   "I just haven't been making good pitches," he said. "I think that's what it comes down to, not stranding enough guys, just leaving too many balls up over the plate."
 
   Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson hit solo homers for Toronto. Marco Estrada (5-2) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out five in 6 2-3 innings. He has held opponents to five hits or fewer in 10 straight starts. 
 
   The Blue Jays scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead in the fourth. Hellickson walked Donaldson and Encarnacion to start the inning. After a double steal, Russell Martin's sacrifice fly made it 2-1. Ryan Goins hit an RBI single with two outs and Devon Travis followed with a run-scoring double.
 
   Donaldson connected off Hector Neris in a three-run eighth, sending his 16th homer deep to left after a knockdown pitch.
 
   Encarnacion hit a 1-2 pitch off the facing of the second deck in left field for his 17th homer leading off the second. He has five homers in the last four games.
 
   STANDINGS
 
   Blue Jays (37-31) are a season-high six games over .500 while the Phillies (30-36) are a season-worst six games under .500.
 
   SLUMPING
 
   Phillies cleanup hitter Tommy Joseph was 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
 
   STRUGGLING
 
   Neris has allowed eight earned runs in his last 6 1/3 innings after allowing only four earned runs in his first 28.
 
   TRAINER'S ROOM
 
   Phillies: 3B Maikel Franco didn't start for the third straight game because of a sprained right knee. He struck out as a pinch-hitter to end the game.
 
   UP NEXT
 
   Former Phillies LHP J.A. Happ (7-3, 3.70 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays while RHP Aaron Nola (5-5, 2.98) goes for Philadelphia.
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