Guerrero drives in 3 to lead Blue Jays to rout Rays on Canada Day
Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk scored three straight braces as the Blue Jays edged the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 on Friday in Toronto’s first Canada Day home game since 2019 .
The Blue Jays played in Dunedin, Florida, and Buffalo, NY for most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID-19 regulations.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a solo home run in the seventh inning for Toronto (44-33) and George Springer hit a deuce with a single in the sixth.
Trent Thornton, Sergio Romo, Max Castillo came in relief for the Blue Jays.
Designated hitter Harold Ramirez scored an RBI double as Tampa Bay (40-36) lost its fourth straight game.
The fireworks of the #CanadaDay started 🍍 @yunitogurriel pic.twitter.com/WzFVmml8Z0
Corey Kluber (3-5) lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks.
Phoenix Sanders and David McKay, who allowed four runs, came out of the Rays bullpen. Right fielder Brett Phillips threw Tampa’s latest frame.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the second inning when receiver Rene Pinto pulled out in the third, but gave Ramirez enough time to score.
Bichette, Guerrero and Kirk opened the scoring for Toronto with three consecutive RBI doubles in the third set.
Canadian Normal: Double Double
Canadian EXTREME: Double Double Double Double Double pic.twitter.com/04kmoEBPhX
Bichette came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a double on the right field wall to score Gurriel and Cavan Biggio.
On the next pitch, Guerrero doubled down the left field line to bring in Springer and Bichette.
That brought Kirk to the plate with the sold-out crowd of 44,445 chanting « MVP » for the top vote-getter among American League Seekers in the All-Star Ballot.
His hit also went down the left field line to bank Guerrero for a 5-1 lead.
Springer added more runs for the Blue Jays in the sixth inning when his base hit slipped past Rays third baseman Yandy Diaz and went down for a single. This marked Gurriel and Santiago Espinal for a 7-2 lead.
Guerrero’s groundout then brought Biggio home from third for Toronto first baseman’s third RBI of the game.
Gurriel came to the plate in the eighth inning with two outs and no one.
He took McKay’s 79.4 mph curve ball to left center field for a 9-2 lead.
Although thousands of fans had already left Rogers Center with the game well in hand, the remaining crowd sang an impromptu version of « O Canada » in the top of the ninth as Castillo closed the game.
The Rogers Center was decked out in red and white to celebrate Canada Day, with banners hanging from the second deck of center court and all scoreboards in the national colors.
The first 15,000 fans who attended the game received free red Blue Jays jerseys with Springer’s name on the back. The team said all shirts were distributed within 30 minutes of the stadium gates opening two hours before the game.
Former Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin threw the opening pitch. Born in Toronto and raised in Montreal,
Martin won four all-star games in his 14 years in Major League Baseball.
He played four seasons with the Blue Jays, including the team’s playoffs in 2015 and 2016.
From one 55 to another. @russellmartin55 threw the first pitch to rookie Gabriel Moreno! pic.twitter.com/gDKLBM1Ld9