BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his major league-leading 26th home run, Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays breezed past the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 Saturday.
Guerrero edged ahead of San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. for the most homers this year.
Guerrero homered during a four-run burst in the third inning that also included Bo Bichette’s RBI double and Hernandez’s homer.
”The way he’s swinging the bat right now, every time he goes to the plate, you’re waiting for (a home run),” Hernandez said. ”He’s having a good time and working so hard.”
Grichuk hit a three-run homer in the fifth. Toronto scored four runs apiece in the third, fifth and sixth innings en route to winning its sixth of seven games. All 12 runs came with two out.
”It’s tough to get hits with two outs,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. ”To get that many runs with two outs, that was impressive. A great job by the hitters.”
Hernandez, who added a two-run single in the sixth, described the mindset of the Blue Jays lineup.
”We’re going to fight until they get (us) out,” said. ”Every time we have a chance to score, we’ll try our best and try to be aggressive when the pitches are around the zone.”
Grichuk, who drove in four runs, and Bichette each had three of Toronto’s 15 hits.
Pedro Severino and Cedric Mullins each had two RBIs for Baltimore, which lost for the 15th time in 17 games and dropped its 21st of 22 road games. The Orioles snapped a 20-game road losing streak on Friday.
Hyun Jin Ryu (7-4) allowed seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, but yielded only two singles through the first six innings, during which he threw an economical 62 pitches.
Ryu was tagged for four runs on five hits in the seventh inning when he delivered 29 pitches.
”Into the seventh, we were thinking that we would ask him if he wanted to keep going,” Montoyo said. ”His pitch count was low and he was dealing. It was almost like watching a no-hitter.”
Keegan Akin (0-4) allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Konner Wade. a 29-year old journeyman, allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings, and Alexander Wells, a 24-year old Australian, worked two scoreless innings in their major league debuts.
An MLB-high 10 Orioles have made their first big league appearances this season.
MANCINI AND THE DERBY
Baltimore 1B Trey Mancini, back this season after treatment for colon cancer, will compete in this year’s Home Run Derby, according to Frontline, the agency that represents him. Frontline announced the news on Twitter on Saturday.
Mancini, who missed the 2020 season, leads the Orioles with 14 home runs this year.
MOUNTCASTLE TAKING STEPS
Orioles 1B Ryan Mountcastle, after drawing only one walk in 95 plate appearances between May 24 and June 23, has four in 13 during the last three games against Toronto. He drew another free pass in his first at-bat on Saturday.
”I see much better strike zone management,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. ”He’s done an amazing job of understanding and making adjustments.”
MANOAH ACCEPTS SUSPENSION
Toronto RHP Alek Manoah, who pitched six innings on Friday while his five-game suspension was under appeal, agreed to begin serving that suspension on Saturday. He will be eligible to return on July 2, when Toronto hosts Tampa Bay. The timing appears to work well for the Blue Jays, who will likely have Steven Matz (COVID-19) return to start Wednesday against Seattle.
Manoah was suspended in the wake of his ejection in Baltimore last Saturday, when he hit Maikel Franco with a pitch following back-to-back home runs by Mountcastle and DJ Stewart.
VLADDY WEARING THE MAPLE LEAF WELL
Guerrero, who was born in Montreal while his Hall of Famer father played for the Expos, set a new Toronto record on Friday night for most home runs hit in a season by a Canadian-born Blue Jay. With his 25th homer, Guerrero surpassed Michael Saunders, who hit 24 in 2016.
Orioles: SS Freddy Galvis left the game after pulling up on the way to first while bunting for a single in the second inning. Galvis was taken off the field on a cart prior to the third inning, since the visitor’s clubhouse facilities for MLB games in Buffalo are temporarily located behind the outfield fence. ”We don’t have the results from the MRI yet, but we’re definitely concerned,” Hyde said before confirming that an infielder would likely be called up for Sunday’s game.
Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki (forearm) did well in his bullpen session on Friday and will either throw a side session on Monday or live BP on Tuesday before starting a rehab assignment. … C Alejandro Kirk (hip flexor), who will be eligible to come off the 60-day IL next weekend, has been in Trenton with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons and was described by Montoyo as ”building up to playing games” though there is no timeframe yet for a rehab stint.
The teams will conclude their four-game series on Sunday with Baltimore RHP Jorge Lopez (2-9, 5.68 ERA) facing Toronto RHP Ross Stripling (2-4, 4.33).
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