TORONTO - Aaron Laffey gave up three hits in six innings. The problem for the left-hander is that they were three solo home runs.
It was enough to give Laffey the loss as the Chicago White Sox hit a total of five home runs to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Thursday.
It was the third victory in a row for the White Sox after they lost the opener of the four-game series.
"I gave up three hits," Laffey said. "They were big hits, at least no one was on base so I eliminated that factor of it."
Left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-10) held the Blue Jays to three hits and two runs, both on a second-inning home run by Moises Sierra, over 6 1/3 innings.
"Our struggles to generate any kind of consistent offence showed up here again tonight," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
The Rogers Centre has been a difficult place for the White Sox to win in recent years. They have lost 16 of their past 22 games there dating to June of 2007.
"It means a lot," said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski who was designated hitter for Thursday’s game. "I know coming here since I've been here it hasn't been real productive or successful. It's just nice to come in here and win a series. To come in here and take three out of four is big."
Alex Rios, a former Blue Jay, hit his 19th homer of the season against left-hander Darren Oliver to give Chicago a four-run lead in the eighth. Alexei Ramirez also hit his sixth homer of the season in the eighth against Brandon Lyon.
Laffey (3-4) allowed home runs by Dewayne Wise, Dayan Viciedo and Tyler Flowers.
"After the first inning I got in a pretty good groove," Laffey said. "I don’t think I threw out of the stretch after the first inning so that was a pretty good sign as well."
Liriano was making his fourth start for the White Sox since he was obtained in a trade with Minnesota on July 28. His three previous starts were no decisions.
"He's a big acquisition," Rios said. "He's going to make us better. If he keeps doing what he's been doing lately, he's going to make us so much better and that's what we need right now."
Sierra gave Toronto (55-63) the lead with a two-run homer in the second inning. His second major-league homer followed a one-out single by David Cooper.
But the White Sox (65-52), who lead the American League Central, struck back with their own home runs.
Wise, a former Blue Jay, hit his fifth of the season with one out in the third to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1.
Viciedo led off the fifth by lining his 19th homer of the season to left and Flowers drilled his fourth off the glass at the third level in left field to put Chicago into the lead.
It was the fourth time this season Toronto pitchers have allowed back-to-back homers, and the eighth time the White Sox have hit them.
Laffey said the three home runs were on poor pitches.
"The three homers I gave up I was behind the count in all three of them," he said. "One changeup cut on me, one that just kind of stayed up and the fastball did too. Absolutely [bad pitches].
"The one to Flowers was a cut changeup and obviously I’m not trying to cut a changeup there. I beat him the time before with a hard cutter in, this time it was kind of a slow cutting changeup right into his bat speed. It was just one of those pitches as soon as you throw it you just want to have it back."
After giving up an infield single to Jeff Mathis with two out in the second, Liriano retired the next 13 hitters in a row before walking Yunel Escobar to lead off the seventh.
Cooper forced Escobar at second with a grounder. Anthony Gose ran for Cooper at first base and right-hander Jesse Crain took over for Liriano.
Gose stole second with one out with Sierra batting. The rookie right-fielder got a reprieve when first baseman Adam Dunn couldn’t catch his foul ball. But Sierra struck out and Kelly Johnson hit a fly out to shallow centre.
Kevin Youkilis singled against Oliver with one out in the eighth inning, Dunn walked and Rios homered to left field. Lyon took over with two out and gave up a homer to Ramirez.
"[Oliver] has been probably our most reliable pitcher, he and Casey [Janssen] from the start of the season," Farrell said, "And it’s not just against left-handers, he’s been extremely effective against right-handers. Tonight was the rare exception to the way his season has gone."
The game was delayed a few minutes in the seventh inning because of a medical emergency in the stands near field level. Equipment was brought onto the field as CPR was done on the victim. "You’re talking about a medical emergency, the game is clearly secondary when it comes to that, the fact that they have to get equipment on the field," Farrell said.
Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 19,855 ... Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from Toronto’s lineup on Thursday. He is listed as day to day with soreness in his left shoulder and forearm after his attempt to make a catch while playing left field in Wednesday’s game ...Third baseman Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., who is on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle could be ready for a minor-league rehabilitation assignment on the weekend. ...Right-fielder Jose Bautista continues to show improvement from his left wrist injury and could be ready for a minor-league rehabilitation assignment early next week. ...J.A. Happ (1-1, 6.35 earned-run average) will start Friday’s opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers who will start Yu Darvish (12-8, 4.54 ERA).