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Bichette slams, Kirk HR as Blue Jays beat Chisox, avoid sweep


CHICAGO (AP) — Bo Bichette hit a grand slam and Alejandro Kirk homered for the second straight game, leading Ross Stripling and the Toronto Blue Jays over the injury-riddled Chicago White Sox 9-5 on Wednesday.

Bichette’s second career slam capped a five-run fourth inning as the Blue Jays avoided a three-game series sweep.

“Bo and everyone, it was great to see the spirit this morning,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I wish you could have seen it. Like everyone said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s move on. It’s not easy for the youngsters, but they did a good job.

Kirk hit an RBI single in the first and a homer to center in the third. He tops the All-Star fan vote for AL catchers and leads all major league qualified catchers in batting average (.307) and OPS (.857).

Kirk has hit .364 (8 for 22) with four home runs and eight RBIs in five games against the White Sox this season.

Lucas Giolito (4-4) allowed seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in five innings. He has a 9.47 ERA in his last five starts.

“There is no excuse for my performance,” Giolito said. “It’s pretty awful.”

Kirk is 4 for 9 with three homers and six RBIs for life against Giolito.

Stripling (4-2) allowed one run in six innings. He scattered five hits and didn’t allow a runner past second until Josh Harrison scored from first on a Luis Robert single in sixth.

Stripling has allowed 12 hits in his last 20 2/3 innings, posting a 1.31 ERA in his last four starts.

“If you don’t have overpowering stuff, you can order your pitches,” said Montoyo, who said reliever Yimi Garcia was unavailable due to left-sided discomfort. “He did it and he’s really good. His (number of pitches) has gone down because people are getting in touch.

The White Sox had seven hits in the last three innings after Stripling left. They scored three times in the eighth and brought the potential tying run to the plate, but Leury Garcia failed.

Robert extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He moved slowly as he ran to first and stayed there even after his shot passed left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and eventually left the game in the eighth.

The White Sox have been stretched at shortstop. Tim Anderson, who returned Monday after missing 18 games with a sprained right groin, was not playing under doctor’s orders, manager Tony La Russa said before the game.

White Sox shortstop Danny Mendick left after colliding with left fielder Adam Haseley on a rough pop in the second-and-left due to right knee discomfort. Garcia, who had been sidelined the last four games due to side discomfort, replaced him.

Right fielder Adam Engel left after three innings with right hamstring pain.

La Russa said Robert, Mendick and Engel underwent MRIs after the game.

“It was a good time to get (Robert) out of there,” La Russa said.

“When he’s not going (after) wall balls he’s not going second, you know he’s feeling ouchis there.”

EARLY EXIT

Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martinez was ejected in the pregame trade.

TRANSACTIONS

White Sox: RHP Matt Foster has been reinstated from the mourners list. RHP Davis Martin has been opted for Triple-A Charlotte.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: DE George Springer did not play due to right elbow discomfort.

White Sox: 1B Jose Abreu (hip) has been relegated to designated hitter duties. … OF Eloy Jiménez (torn right hamstring tendon), on a rehabilitation mission in Charlotte, texted La Russa that he was feeling better. “So better means it’s different from ‘I’m ready to come back,'” La Russa said.

NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Alex Manoah (8-2, 2.00) will face the Brewers on Friday in Milwaukee. Manoah allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings of Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Yankees.

White Sox: RHP Johnny Cueto (1-3, 2.95) will face the Orioles in Thursday’s series opener. Cueto pitched seven two-hit innings Saturday in a 7-0 win over the Astros.

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Mark Gonzales, Associated Press















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