TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gave the Toronto Blue Jays a reason to celebrate. Not that they need it.
Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the third inning and George Springer hit a triple in part of the sixth as the Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 9-0 on Friday. The clear victory came before a champagne-soaked party in the Toronto clubhouse that had been planned for more than a day after the Blue Jays won a post-season berth during their day off.
“My thought was ‘you know what? We have to win this match to celebrate,” said Guerrero through interpreter Hector (Tito) Lebron. “That was my way of thinking before the game and thank God we won the game and we had a big celebration.”
Toronto sealed a playoff spot on Thursday afternoon as the Baltimore Orioles lost to Boston 5-3. However, the Blue Jays do not have a game scheduled for Thursday, meaning they cannot celebrate as a team.
Interim manager John Schneider said ahead of Friday’s win that his team intends to celebrate winning a post-season landing, regardless of their results with Boston.
After defeating the Red Sox, the Blue Jays gathered at their tarpaulin club center in the bowels of the Rogers Center. Midfielder Teoscar Hernandez rose to his feet on the table, waving a pirate flag, as his teammates in playoff matching T-shirts danced around him in a circle.
Schneider addressed his team to congratulate them on their achievement and then the corks began to fly, with champagne being sprayed across the room and beer pouring down on their smiling teammates.
“Whether it’s planned or not, you have to enjoy it, embrace it, cherish it,” said Schneider, who joked that he was more into him than he was at the time. at that moment. “It doesn’t happen often, it doesn’t always happen.
“Hopefully it happens more this year but I’m glad they’re having fun.”
The Blue Jays have five games left in the regular season with Toronto still vying for home advantage in the American League series. After three games against Boston, the Blue Jays will head to Baltimore to wrap up the regular season.
“Let’s celebrate, but we’re not done yet,” Guerrero said.
Raimel Tapia had a solo at home to lead the sixth inning for Toronto (88-69). Bo Bichette had two hits, driving in one run, hitting 48 hits in September to set a new Blue Jays record.
Alejandro Kirk wasn’t great in the first game but gave Springer plenty of time to run home. Whit Merrifield made it 2-0 in the second with his sacrifice in Tapia.
“You really couldn’t write it any better,” says Schneider. “Giant bats. Home runs away from the usual suspects. Kind of how we won right there. “
Alek Manoah (16-7) launched six rounds, dropping only two hits and two walks with four attacks. Yusei Kikuchi threw three unsuccessful innings to make the first save of his Major League career.
Manoah said the post-match party was on his mind before it started and it was important for him to win the right to celebrate.
“The most important thing is let’s have a good time, but let’s win,” Manoah said after a team photo in the yard of the Rogers Center. “I feel really terrible if our ass gets kicked out of there and then has to go in and party.
“I think the biggest thing is being able to lock it in and understand that the winner comes first and then the side comes later.”
Nick Pivetta (10-12) dropped four runs with six hits and three walks, winning two, out of five innings working for Boston (75-82).
The Dane’s Tyler relief allowed four more runs, before Franklin German finished the match for the Red Sox.
Guerrero’s home game in the third half made it 4-0 for Toronto. He changed 86.4 mph from Pivetta to the second deck at the Rogers Center to the satisfaction of 37,283 attendees. Guerrero’s 31st home game of the season also featured a Bichette goal.
The impressive moonshot flew 447 feet with an exit velocity of 117.5 mph, the second-longest home run of Guerrero’s MLB career.
“Well,” Manoah said. “It looked like a transmission in the void and then it just kept going. It was crazy.”
ORANGE SHIRT DAY – The Blue Jays celebrated National Day for Truth and Reconciliation before and during the game. The Canadian national anthem was sung in English, French, Blackfoot, and Dolores (McLeod) Naponse, a residential school survivor from Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, near Sudbury Ont., threw the first pitch on the ceremonial first pitch.
MATCH – Ross Stripling (9-4) will begin Saturday afternoon as Toronto continues its three-game streak against Boston. Brayan Bello (2-7) will bring down the Red Sox.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on September 30, 2022.
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