June 16th, 2024

Hays hits two homers to power Orioles to 7-2 victory over Blue Jays in series opener


By Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press on June 3, 2024.

Toronto Blue Jays first base Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) celebrates after hitting a home run during the fourth inning AL MLB action against the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto on Monday, June 3, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

TORONTO – Austin Hays hit two of Baltimore’s four home runs to help power the Orioles to a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series between divisional rivals.

Hays hit a two-run shot in Baltimore’s three-run fourth inning and added a solo blast in the seventh.

Anthony Santander had a two-run homer and Ramon Urias added a solo shot for the Orioles (38-20), who won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who were outhit 10-8.

Kevin Gausman (4-4) tied a season high by giving up six earned runs as Toronto (28-31) fell for the second time in seven games.

The Toronto starter walked Ryan O’Hearn to lead off the second inning and the cleanup hitter scored on Santander’s 11th homer of the season.

The Blue Jays caught a break in the bottom half when shortstop Gunnar Henderson threw high to first base on a routine grounder by George Springer. Daulton Varsho followed with an RBI triple as Toronto halved Baltimore’s lead.

In the fourth inning, Colton Cowser drove in Santander with an RBI double to make it a two-run game once again. Hays then belted a 2-2 splitter over the wall for his first homer of the season.

Guerrero hit a Grayson Rodriguez offering 415 feet to straightaway centre field for his sixth homer of the year.

Hays went deep again in the seventh inning for the sixth multihomer game of his career.

Gausman was pulled one batter later to end his 97-pitch appearance. He gave up six hits, one walk and had three strikeouts.

The Blue Jays put runners on the corners in the bottom half after singles by Springer and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. But Rodriguez struck out Kevin Kiermaier and Yennier Cano came on to get Davis Schneider on a lineout.

Rodriguez (6-2) allowed one earned run and seven hits. He had four strikeouts.

Urias added an insurance run in the ninth inning with his third homer of the year.

Announced attendance was 23,842 with the roof open at Rogers Centre. The game took two hours 30 minutes to play.

FOR PETE’S SAKE

Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker was ejected in the fourth inning by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

Walker apparently objected to the crew chief’s decision to call a ball on a Gausman pitch that appeared to be at the top of the strike zone.

ROMANO UPDATE

Toronto closer Jordan Romano won’t throw for at least three days after receiving an anti-inflammatory injection in his elbow on Sunday, Blue Jays manager John Schneider said before the game.

Romano, from Markham, Ont., was placed on the 15-day injured list last Thursday due to right elbow inflammation. He missed the first 17 games of the season with a similar issue.

RODRIGUEZ RELIEF

Blue Jays right-hander Yariel Rodriguez is slated to throw around 55 pitches for Triple-A Buffalo in a relief role on Wednesday.

He has been on the IL since April 30 due to thoracic spine inflammation.

COMING UP

Right-hander Corbin Burnes (5.2, 2.35 earned-run average) was tabbed to pitch for the Orioles on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays have yet to confirm their starter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2024.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on X.

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