Hernandez hits 2 homers as Blue Jays beat Phillies in 1st game since Montoyo fired

Ross Stripling allowed two hits in seven good innings and Teoscar Hernandez hit two home runs to give Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider an 8-2 victory in his debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Earlier today, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins fired Charlie Montoyo and replaced 42-year-old Schneider as the club’s new chief.

« We’re just not playing to our potential, » Atkins said. « I see some small opportunities to help that, and this was one of them. I see a lot of individual things that are positive and some individual areas where we can improve. »

With Montoyo leading the team in Game 1 against the Phillies (46-43) on Tuesday and Schneider taking over ahead of 30,853 at the Rogers Center, the Blue Jays (47-42) have earned two straight wins after winning only once in 10 outings.

WATCH | Montoyo out as Jays manager:

Charlie Montoyo, Blue Jays Fire Director

The Toronto Blue Jays have fired coach Charlie Montoyo after a disappointing west coast road trip where the team lost nine of 11 games. Montoyo will be replaced by bench coach John Schneider for the remainder of the season.

It was a difficult month for the team on several fronts.

Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski lost his 17-year-old daughter Julia in a fatal crash on the James River in Richmond, Virginia on July 2. Montoyo and other members of the Blue Jays organization attended his funeral on Monday.

On the court, Toronto made several critical mistakes on a 1-6 road trip last week and let a few games slip away.

« During a season there are ups and downs, and I think it’s been a weird time in the season, » Schneider said. « You can say some guys are underperforming. You can say some coaches are underperforming.

« There are things we can all do better. »

Schneider served as a minor league catcher in the Blue Jays organization for six seasons before coaching and managing at various levels in 2008. He was promoted to the major league level in 2019.

Stripling (5-3) struck out six and struck out the first 11 Phillies before Nick Castellanos hit a two-out double in the fourth inning. Bryson Stott hit a two-run homer in the seventh, but the runs weren’t earned due to a pitching error by Bo Bichette on a ground ball by Rhys Hoskins.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez homered in the fourth inning to spark a three-run streak.

Schneider had an aggressive first game. He managed to plot a hit and run in the third inning, and Raimel Tapia and Bichette stole bases in the third and fifth innings, respectively.

Toronto’s two-game sweep spoiled the homecoming of Phillies (46-43) interim manager Rob Thomson. The native of Sarnia, Ont., became the first Canadian to manage a major league game in his home country.

His starter, Zack Wheeler (8-5), retired the first six batters he faced. But the Blue Jays ended his night after 4 2/3 innings.

In the third, Matt Chapman started with a walk. He advanced to third base on a hit and run single to left field from Santiago Espinal and scored on Tapia’s outfielder’s choice field.

Guerrero started the fourth by slamming his 20th homer, and after a single from Alejandro Kirk, Hernandez slammed his 10th from atop the center field wall.

Singles from Tapia, George Springer and Bichette pushed the Blue Jays to a 5-0 advantage in the fifth. Springer scored on a sacrifice fly from Guerrero.

Hernandez fired a two-run shot from the right field line in the eighth inning.

To replace Schneider as bench coach, the Blue Jays promoted Casey Candaele, their Triple-A manager at Buffalo.

Candaele, 61, played utility in his first three seasons for the Montreal Expos in the late 1980s. He has been with the Blue Jays organization since 2017.

The Blue Jays begin a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals at home on Thursday, Toronto’s last games before the All-Star break.

Kevin Gausman (6-6) expects to make his first start since taking line practice with his right ankle on July 2.

The Royals have not named their starter for the series opener. They could be without 10 players due to their unvaccinated status, including stars Andrew Benintendi and Whit Merrifield.

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