July 20th, 2024

Second-inning rally leads Toronto Blue Jays past Cleveland Guardians 5-0

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on June 15, 2024.

TORONTO – George Springer, Addison Barger and Spencer Horwitz all had RBI singles in a second-inning rally as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Guardians 5-0 on Saturday.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa added an RBI single in the fourth for the Blue Jays (34-36) and Daulton Varsho drove in another run in the fifth.

Relief pitcher Trevor Richards was Toronto’s “opener,” allowing just a hit and getting one strikeout over 2 1/3 innings as the Blue Jays still haven’t found a fifth pitcher for their starting rotation.

Relievers Tim Mayza, Zach Pop of Brampton, Ont., Bowden Francis, Genesis Cabrera and Nate Pearson preserved the shutout. Francis (3-2) earned the victory.

Carlos Carrasco (2-6) allowed five runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out two over five innings for Cleveland (44-24).

Tim Herrin and Pedro Avila combined for three innings of scoreless ball out of the Guardians bullpen.

A rally in the second inning gave Toronto a 3-0 lead.

Justin Turner started the frame with a walk and Varsho put runners in scoring position with a double to right field. Springer’s basehit scored Turner and advanced Varsho. Barger then hit a no-out single to centre to cash in Varsho.

It was Barger’s first appearance in Toronto’s lineup since being called up from triple-A Buffalo on Friday. He had a .256 batting average for the Bisons with eight home runs and 34 RBIs so far this season.

“He’s having a great year in triple-A,” said Blue Jays manager John Schneider before the game. “We’re not asking for any of these guys that are coming up to carry the offence.

“Just do what they’re doing, or do what they have been doing.”

Kiner-Falefah advanced Barger and Springer to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and then Horwitz singled to left field. That played Springer for a 3-0 lead after two.

Toronto added another run in the fourth when Kiner-Falefa’s single to centre field scored Springer from second. Kiner-Falefa made a rare appearance at shortstop as all-star Bo Bichette took the day off to rest a sore right calf.

Varsho eked out another run for the Blue Jays in the fifth. He grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Turner got forced out at second but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached third and Danny Jansen scored to make it 5-0.

JOSE PA-MIREZ – Guardians all-star third baseman Jose Ramirez was placed on the team’s paternity leave list hours before the opening pitch. He will likely rejoin the Guardians in Cleveland on Tuesday for the start of a homestand.

ON DECK – José Berríos (5-5) will take the mound for Toronto in Sunday’s series finale.

Ben Lively (6-2) is scheduled to start for Cleveland in the matinee.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2024.

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