2023-06-26 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Vladimir Guerrero Ramos Jr. and Yusei Kikuchi of the Toronto Blue Jays

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images | The Japan Times

It should have been a three-game sweep, but hey, we’ll take it.
Following a rather demoralizing Friday night affair which saw the Athletics’ Shea Langeliers hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth off of Jays’ closer Jordan Romano, Toronto bounced back with wins on Saturday and Sunday to take two-of-three from the worst team in baseball.
Six innings of three-run ball from Jose Berrios followed by seven innings of one-run ball from Yusei Kikuchi powered the Jays’ pitching, along with a combined five shutout innings from the bullpen. It’s just Oakland, but nevertheless a solid beginning to a very important nine-game homestand.
Vladdy hit his first two home runs at the Rogers Centre this series, as he went 6-for-12 with seven RBI. A return to his old self would be a welcome sight, with Toronto’s lack of power being on full display over the past month. The slugging first baseman entered Friday with just 9 home runs to his name - a drastic downturn from the 48 he hit in 2021, and the 32 he knocked out in 2022.
Danny Jansen, George Springer, and Cavan Biggio each went deep as well, with George Springer now in sole possession of second place of most leadoff home runs hit at 55, passing Alfonso Soriano whom Springer was tied with. Springer is 26 leadoff home runs behind Rickey Henderson, who hit 81 over the span of his career.
With Sunday’s win, Toronto now finds themselves alone in the final Wild Card spot as they sit half a game up on Houston (and half a game back of New York for the second Wild Card position) at 43-36. For context, 43-36 would lead both the AL and NL central. Toronto currently sits 10 games back of first in the AL East.
With the series win, Toronto has found themselves dealing with a number of injuries. Adam Cimber was placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder impingement, leading to the call-up of Bowden Francis. Yimi Garcia exited Saturday’s game in the ninth inning with a right knee injury, and Tyler Heineman - Alejandro Kirk’s fill-in - left Sunday’s matchup after taking an awkward swing. Neither have been put on the IL yet, though Toronto’s catching depth is running thin with both AAA starters Rob Brantley and Stevie Berman on the IL. Next up would be either Rob Ellison or Jamie Ritchie, neither of which have Major League experience.
After a day off Monday, San Francisco and Boston come to town - with Boston having the honour of being Toronto’s matchup on the always-sold-out Canada Day Game. The Blue Jays have yet to officially name their starting pitchers against San Francisco, decisions that should be announced Monday.
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By: Gus Cousins


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