CHICAGO — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is starting to make up for lost time, and along the way he is making everyone forget about a slow start to his rookie season. Guerrero homered for the fourth time over his last six games in the Blue Jays 5-2 victory vs. the White
CHICAGO — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is starting to make up for lost time, and along the way he is making everyone forget about a slow start to his rookie season.
Guerrero homered for the fourth time over his last six games in the Blue Jays 5-2 victory vs. the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was Guerreros two-run shot in the top of the eighth which broke a tie ballgame and allowed the Blue Jays to salvage a series split in Chicago.
Reynaldo López takes the mound as the Sox try for a series victory over the Jays. The starboardsider (why should lefties get all the cutesy references?) carries a 5.58 ERA, but hes coming off 7 2⁄3 excellent innings against the Indians. Hell be facing fellow righty Trent Thornton, who has had an up-and-down season and sports a 1-4 record and 4.81 ERA.
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All four of Guerreros home runs came on Torontos six-game road trip through San Francisco and Chicago. Prior to the outburst on the road, Guerrero was slashing .191/.283/.234, which equated to a .517 OPS. Since then, Guerrero has seven hits over six games and the sudden uptick in power has raised his OPS to .766.
The chance of another five-inning victory exists, since, at time of writing, theres a 55% chance of thunderstorms at 3 p.m, but the forecast is a lot better than yesterdays (well, better in general, given yesterdays worked well for the home team).
Youre hoping the guy in front gets on because he has a chance to do something every time he comes to the plate, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. Its fun to have a guy like that in the lineup. … The more the lineup gets hot, the more comfortable hes going to get, because then he feels less pressure to do stuff. Thats how I see it.
The turnaround for Guerrero dates back to even before the start of the road trip. He had three hits over his final two games in a previous series vs. Chicago and over his last eight games Guerrero is batting .370 (10-for-27) with four home runs and nine RBIs, while posting an .852 slugging percentage and 1.321 OPS.
For Guerrero this also marked his third multi-hit game of the season, and its safe to say that he is starting to perform the way most people expected when he was called up late last month.
I feel very good right now and Ive been working hard in the cage with the hitting coach Guillermo Martinez, Guerrero said through an interpreter after the game. Ive just been working in the cage on trying to hit the ball back up the middle. Thats basically what I do.
Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton came away with a no-decision but he deserved a better fate after one of his better starts of the season. Despite the soggy conditions in Chicago, Thornton showcased some impressive command, allowing just one run while scattering three hits and a walk over six strong innings. The win went to reliever Daniel Hudson, who is now tied for the team lead with three after a scoreless seventh.
On Inside the Clubhouse @670TheScore Jays broadcaster Buck Maritinez confirmed the Cubs have asked about the availability of closer Ken Giles
Thornton might not have come away with the victory but he is starting to get used to having the rookie phenom provide him with some run support. In Thorntons last outing vs. San Francisco, Guerrero homered for the first time in his career as part of a two-homer night. Guerrero is 5-for-8 with three homers and six RBIs over the last two games that Thornton has started.
Hes everything that everybody wanted him to be, Thornton said after his second quality start of the season. Hes an awesome bat, an awesome defender. I think were a good-hitting team. Were going to get hot, were going to keep swinging, were going to win games. It has been fun these last two starts.
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Toronto catcher Danny Jansen added a two-run shot in the top of the ninth to give the Blue Jays some breathing room. It was his second home run of the season and his second of the series. Billy McKinney also chipped in with a solo home run as he picked up multiple hits for the second time in his last three games.
That was big, even more against this club, they dont quit, Montoyo said of Jansen. Theyve got a good offense so that was huge for me.
Minor movementThe Blue Jays signed veteran left-hander Buddy Boshers to a Minor League contract on Sunday morning and he will report to Triple-A Buffalo early next week.
Boshers is 3-0 with a 4.59 ERA over parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues. The 31-year-old has not pitched in the big leagues since 2017, when he posted a 4.89 ERA in 38 appearances out of the bullpen for Minnesota.
The signing gives the Blue Jays a little more pitching depth inside the organization. Tim Mayza and Thomas Pannone have been the only left-handed options out of the 'pen for Toronto, but Boshers could slide into that role if there are injuries later in the year.
Jace Fry came in for the ninth, giving up a single to McKinney on what should have been Tim Andersons 10th error of the season — apparently the official scorer likes Timmy more than Jace — and then a 413-foot blast to .186 hitter Danny Jansen. Ken Giles completed a four-out save by blowing through the ninth allowing just a dribbler single by Anderson.
Boshers was signed out of the Mexican League, where he made a pair of appearances and did not allow a run over 2 1/3 innings. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.
Giles and Shoemaker on Hooton BoardKen Giles and Matt Shoemaker have been named to the Advisory Board for the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which advocates against the use of performance-enhancing substances by youth players.
At least one active player from every Major League team was named to the Advisory Board, and overall there are a record 42 players participating. This is the fourth straight season the Taylor Foundation has included a representative from every team.
"The Taylor Hooton Foundation is simply overwhelmed by the support that these elite athletes and Major League Baseball provide to send such an important and positive message to our young people that they, too, can accomplish all of their dreams without the use of these dangerous and often illegal substances," Taylor Hooton Foundation president Donald Hooton Jr. said in a statement.
"Kids today are driven to look their best and millions of middle- and high-school kids are using appearance and performance-enhancing substances to achieve their goals."
Giles and Shoemaker will be participating in the "All Me" public-service campaign to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding performance-enhancing drugs and the benefits of competing the right way. The Advisory Board will also take part in THF's educational activities in their local communities.
Blue Jays knuckle under in rain-delayed loss to the White Sox
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook.
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 19, 2019. Associated Press
It was a quiet afternoon before Toronto brought the fireworks. Reynaldo López and Trent Thornton both held the opposition to one run over six innings, although Thornton made his afternoon look easier. He allowed just three hits and a walk, but one of those hits was a leadoff triple by Yoan Moncada, who then scored on Abreu’s groundout to tie the game at 1 in the fourth.
Guerrero Jr. hits another homer, Jays beat White Sox 5-2
The final result Sunday afternoon wasnt what the White Sox wanted — a 5-2 loss to rookie slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field.
But before Guerrero snapped a 1-1 tie with a 2-run homer off reliever Kelvin Herrera in the eighth inning, Reynaldo Lopez cleared an important hurdle that often trips up developing starting pitchers.
Struggling with his command throughout the game, Lopez found himself in hot water during the fourth inning.
Feierabend throws a lot more pitches than just that one specialty pitch, so he's not a traditional knuckleballer, and that's pretty rare for lefties. Kirt Ojala (1997-99) and Rich Sauveur (1986-2000) were some of the most recent lefty knucklers, as was Danny Boone (final game: 1990). But there was also Wilbur Wood (164-game winner) from 1961-78, Gene Bearden (1947-53), Mickey Haefner (1943-50) and Lou Sleater (1950-58).
A Guerrero leadoff single and walks to Justin Smoak and Freddy Galvis loaded the bases and brought Billy McKinney to the plate with two outs.
Lopez fell behind 3-0 to Torontos left fielder, but he kept his composure and came back to strike out McKinney.
Being able to work out of jams is a must for front-line starters, and Lucas Giolito has figured out how to successfully pitch through traffic this season.
“Its good for them,” catcher Welington Castillo said of Lopez and Giolito. “Its going to be really good for them in the long run. Theyre young. It will help them in the long run because they can get through the next time their stuff is not there. They can battle and they can fight.”
For the game, Lopez went 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits. Over his last two starts, the right-hander has given up 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 13⅔ innings.
Feierabend is no stranger to the Show, of course. He reached the big leagues as a 20-year-old with the 2006 Seattle Mariners, but fell out of favor with 25 uninspiring appearances over the ensuing three seasons. He pitched in the majors most recently in 2014, having since spent the interim period pitching overseas in Korea, where he embraced the knuckler.
“You learn a lot on days like today when you dont have your stuff because you need to find ways to get through your outing,” Lopez said. “I learned that last year and Ive been learning that when I watch other pitchers go through those moments. Thats something that helps you in your development process because its going to make you better.”
In the fourth inning, Yoan Moncada led off with a triple against Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton and scored on Abreus groundout.