Before the final game of a demoralizing eight-game road trip that has severely damaged the Blue Jays’ playoff aspirations, manager John Gibbons said there would be no “magic bullet” to snap his club out of their current funk.

But when Jose Bautista lined his 23rd home run of the season into the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen to give the Jays a four-run lead in the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon, R.A. Dickey described a palpable sigh of relief inside the team’s dugout: “It was like, ‘Okay, finally, here we go.’ ”

Bautista’s game-winning blast capped a five-run inning for the Jays and led to their biggest offensive outburst in more than three weeks as they went on to defeat Milwaukee 9-5 to split their two-game interleague series.

“We’ve been searching for that thing,” Gibbons said.

For the Jays to have any hope at making the post-season this year, Bautista’s homer — and the nine-run, 15-hit onslaught — must be a catalyst for their slumbering offence, which has scored the fewest runs in the majors since Aug. 1.

“We’re going to try to build on this,” said Dickey, who earned his 10th victory of the season. “We get to go home and we’re not out of it by any stretch of the imagination, so we’ll gird up our loins and go attack.”

Once the league leaders in runs scored, the Jays’ bats have gone ice cold this month. The nine runs represent the most the team has scored since July 28, when the defeated Boston 14-1. The lack of offence is the main reason why the Jays have won just five games in August and why they find themselves precariously close to falling out of the playoff picture completely.

But the Jays’ greatest asset, theoretically, is their deep and threatening lineup. When they aren’t scoring runs in bunches, they aren’t likely to be successful.