Jansen, Guerrero lift Jays over Athletics 7-3

TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will not take it for granted now that he has discovered the power of home runs.

Guerrero and Danny Jansen hit back with two-run homers each in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday. It was Guerrero’s second consecutive home run after a 16-game streak, and both were his first homers at the Rogers Center this season.

“They all feel great. A home run is a home run,” Guerrero said through translator Hector LeBron. “I’m on 11 home runs now. I’m trying to have fun. It’s not easy to do that.

“So I try to celebrate all 11 home runs.”

Guerrero and manager John Schneider agreed that being more patient at bat and waiting for the right pitch made the difference this weekend.

Story continues below the ad

“Strike. I’m looking for strikes instead of trying to chase them,” Guerrero said.

Schneider theorized Friday that Toronto’s opponents are plotting a strategy against the two-time All-Star. Guerrero will hit 48 home runs in Major League Baseball in 2021 and hit 32 last year.

“Hopefully[his at-bat]can stay there,” Schneider said. “I thought again, he was laying off some pitches down and away.”

The day after Toronto (42-36) lost to lower-ranked Oakland, Brandon Belt hit a sacrifice and Matt Chapman added an RBI.

Related video

Jose Berrios (8 wins, 5 losses) allowed 8 strikeouts, 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs (2 earned runs). Markham, Ontario relievers Tim Maza, Nate Pearson, Imi Garcia, and closer Jordan Romano kept three scoreless innings.

Story continues below the ad

Berrios is 8-3 with a 2.74 ERA in his last 14 starts. His performance has been a boon to the Blue Jays, who have been running a four-man rotation after demoting Alec Manoa to the minors and streamlining his lineup.

“I feel pretty strong and healthy,” Berrios said. Berrios has cut back on bullpen practice between starts. “Sometimes I feel like I need more days, but that’s how it is right now. You just have to get around it.”

Seth Brown hit a solo home run for the MLB’s worst Athletics (20-59). Ryan Noda and Tyler Wade scored on doubles and singles, respectively.

Shintaro Fujinami (3-7) pitched only 2/3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, before being replaced by Hogan Harris.

Harris allowed 5 hits and 4 runs on 4 walks in 2/3 innings of the 4th inning. Austin Pruitt and Sam Long also came out of the Oakland bullpen.

Berto scored George Springer from second base on a sacrifice fly in the first inning to put Toronto ahead. Two at-bats later, Chapman singled to right field to score Beau Bichette and give the Blue Jays a 2–0 lead.

Brown responded the next inning by throwing Berrios’ 414-foot pitch powerfully deep into center. His fifth home run of the season came from a 78.9 mph slur.

Story continues below the ad

Toronto added one more in the bottom of the inning. Fujinami loaded the bases and hit Guerrero to push Santiago Espinal home, giving the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.

Noda pulled Oakland back within one run with a Tony Kemp double.

In the third inning, Jansen hit his 10th homer of the season over the left-field wall as police officers guarding the Toronto bullpen handed the ball to the fans. Jansen’s 378-footer also scored Dalton Bajo to make it 5-2 for the Jays.

The Athletics nibbled at Toronto’s lead in the sixth inning when Wade hit a bloop single between Espinal and Bichette to score Jace Peterson.

Guerrero’s home run came in the sixth inning. He hit a 131.4 mph curveball from Pruitt’s 437 feet to center. Now the belts are back home and the Blue Jays have a commanding 7-3 lead.

“Like a hanging curveball, he can hit the ball harder and farther than anyone in the league,” Schneider said. “If he can stay there, that’s good.”

SIMBERS OUT — Right-handed reliever Adam Cimbers was placed on the 15-day injured list two hours before the start of the game. The side armor is out with the impingement of the right shoulder. Right-hander Boden Francis was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in a similar move.

Story continues below the ad

On Deck — Toronto closed out the series against Oakland at the matinee as Yusei Kikuchi (6-2) got the start.

Luis Medina (1-6) will pitch for the Athletics.

This report by the Canadian Press Agency was first published on June 24, 2023.

© 2023 Canadian Press

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button