George Springer is a Blue Jay.
The Jays lead-off hitter hit a 2-out grand slam in the 6th inning to bury the St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a two-game series with a 10-3 win. On a night where every Blue Jay in the lineup had a hit, the Jays offense picked up right where it left off from the Boston series, and won their 7th straight game.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 21st home run of the season in the 1st inning, a 2-run shot off of Cardinals starter Andre Pellante. The Jays tagged Pallante for three runs in the 1st, but he pitched his final three innings cleanly.
With one out in the 6th, Teoscar Hernandez laced a single into right center field. He was moved to third on a single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but Gurriel was tagged out trying to extend his hit to a double. It wasn’t the smartest decision by Gurriel, but it didn’t matter, because Matt Chapman drove Hernandez in with an RBI single.
After two-out walks by Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio, Springer sent the crowd into a frenzy as he took St. Louis reliever Junior Fernandez deep for a grand slam. The walks by Espinal and Biggio deserve some big time credit; rather than solely focusing on trying to get more runs in, the pair had patient at-bats, allowing the heavy hitters to get a crack at it.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2022
All-star catcher Alejandro Kirk added a solo home run in the 7th inning off of Fernandez. With that homer, Fernandez joins the Boston Red Sox as baseball players who owe member(s) of the Blue Jays gifts for Father’s Day (see Kevin Gausman).
Jose Berrios got the start tonight for the Blue Jays. Berrios had several ups and downs tonight, symbolic of his season. He gave up a lot of hard contact, and received some tremendous help from his defense. Chapman made a nice snag on a well-hit Tommy Edman lineout in the 1st inning. In the 5th inning, Espinal snagged a hard hit Tyler O’Neill live drive, and doubled off Edman at first for an inning-ending double play. All things told, Berrios pitched one out shy of a quality start, going 5.2 innings and giving up 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
The bullpen, who has been on a nice roll lately, shored up the rest of the game with little problem. Max Castillo pitched the 8th inning, serving as a potential hint that Yusei Kikuchi will get a start during the Detroit series.
Tonight also marked the return of Blue Jays legend Buck Martinez to the Sportsnet booth with Dan Shulman. I can speak for many people by saying that Buck’s voice was missed, and surely there will be more “Swing and a drive!” the rest of the way!