May 24th, 2024

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s three RBIs help Blue Jays rally past Twins 10-8


By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on May 11, 2024.

TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 4 for 5 with three RBIs, a run, and a stolen base as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Minnesota Twins 10-8 on Saturday.

Ernie Clement’s RBI single in the seventh inning gave Toronto (18-21) its first lead of the game. The Blue Jays reeled off seven unanswered runs in the comeback.

Danny Jansen had a two-run homer, while Bo Bichette and Davis Schneider each had a solo shot in Toronto’s offensive surge. Schneider also had a sacrifice fly for another RBI and Daulton Varsho had an RBI double.

Kevin Gausman laboured through three innings, giving up seven runs – six earned – on 10 hits and two walks but striking out six.

Zach Pop of Brampton, Ont., Trevor Richards, Erik Swanson, Yimi Garcia and Jordan Romano of Markham, Ont., came out of Toronto’s bullpen, with Swanson earning the win and Romano getting his sixth save of the season.

Carlos Santana’s three-run homer gave Minnesota (23-16) a six-run lead in the third inning. Ryan Jeffers had a solo blast.

Alex Kirilloff and Carlos Correa hit RBI singles to gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the first, and Trevor Larnach drove in another run in the second.

Simeon Woods Richardson gave up five runs on eight hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts. Cole Sands, Steven Okert, Jay Jackson, Caleb Thielbar, Josh Staumont came on in relief, with Jackson taking the loss.

Correa’s two-out single plated Quebec City’s Edouard Julien to open scoring in the first inning.

Kirilloff followed that up with a hit that Schneider misplayed in left field, with the ball bouncing past him, allowing the Minnesota outfielder to reach third on the fielding error. That also gave Max Kepler and Correa time to cross the plate as the visitors quickly jumped out ahead.

Larnach tacked on a run in the next inning with a single that brought Santana home from second for a 4-0 Twins’ lead.

Bichette answered back for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the inning, launching an 83.5 m.p.h. change-up from Woods Richardson 401 feet to deep left field.

It was only Bichette’s second home run of the season and first since April 9 in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. It ended a 25-game homerless drought for the all-star shortstop.

Santana extended Minnesota’s lead in the third, sending Gausman’s 95.2 m.p.h. four-seam fastball 411 feet to dead centre. Santana held a single finger up as he rounded the bases, with Willi Castro and Santana crossing home ahead of him for a sizable 7-1 lead.

A string of Blue Jays hits in the bottom of the inning cut into that lead.

Schneider led off the inning with a double and then scored when Varsho doubled to right. Guerrero then singled to score Varsho, make it 7-3, and bring the 35,069 fans at Rogers Centre to their feet.

Jeffers quieted the crowd in the next inning, hitting a towering shot to left field. He connected on a 95.6 m.p.h. sinker from Pop, with a launch angle of 39 degrees off his bat and an exit velocity of 110.8 m.p.h. travelling 392 feet.

A three-run fifth inning brought the Blue Jays back into the game.

Schneider led off the fifth with his fourth homer of the season. He smashed Woods Richardson’s 83.9 m.p.h. change-up 360 feet.

After Guerrero singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Jansen sent a line drive 376 feet into Toronto’s bullpen to make it 8-6.

The top of the Blue Jays order struck again in the sixth, with Guerrero’s single – his fourth of the game – bringing home Cavan Biggio and Schneider to tie the game 8-8.

The rally continued in the seventh as pinch-hitter George Springer drew a walk to load the bases, moving Jansen to third and Isiah Kiner-Falefa with one out.

Clement’s fly ball to the outfield dropped just in front of Twins centre-fielder Willi Castro to push Jansen across home for the Blue Jays’ first lead of the game.

Schneider then added a run with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to give Kiner-Falefa enough time to run home

ON DECK – Alek Manoah (0-0) makes his second start of the season on Sunday afternoon as the Blue Jays conclude their series with the Twins.

Bailey Ober (3-1) will take the mound for Minnesota.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2024.

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