Alejandro Kirk is having a season for the books.
And it kept up on Friday night with a monster four-hit, one home run performance in the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. That was until the soon-to-be all-star catcher got caught with the swing of a bat in the seventh.
Kirk was caught in the catching mitt on the swing of a bat from Brewers CF Jonathan Davis. Jays head trainer Jose Ministral came out to look at Kirk, who caught a few balls to test out his hand, but was ultimately removed from the game. Thankfully for the Jays, his X-rays came back negative.
Kirk’s performance was tremendous, but so was a solid start from Alek Manoah. After a stressful series against the Chicago White Sox, the Jays’ ace got back on the mound Friday night going 6.2 innings allowing one homer, two runs, five hits and three walks, all the while fanning six batters.
While he didn’t seem to have that usual swagger and got himself in some jams, the Big Man managed to work his way out of things rather unscathed.
On the offensive side, the bats were hot early on. The Jays had a five-run offensive explosion in the top of the 2nd. Batting out of the fourth spot, Kurk singled on a sharp ground ball to left-center field, only for Teoscar Hernandez to put a ball in the same spot at the next at bat. As did Ramiel Tapia, who was batting sixth.
Matt Chapman came to the plate with the bases loaded and stuck a double down the line and into left field scoring the aforementioned trio.
Lourdes Gurriel doubled on a sharp line drive to right field scoring Chappie, while Santiago Espinal grounded into a double play scoring Gurriel.
Earlier in the day the Jays had placed Yimi Garcia on the 15-day IL with a left-back strain and had recalled right-handed reliever, Jeremy Beasley, from Triple-A Buffalo. The recall drew innings in the bottom of the eighth and into the ninth facing even batters but struggled mightily. Despite dropping two batters with strikeouts, he also allowed two earned runs on three hits while issuing one bat.
In the ninth, he ended up loading the bases forcing the Jays to bring in Adam Cimber, who forced an out and flew out the final batter.
All in all, it was a strong game from the Jays to kick off their three-game set. Game two goes Saturday afternoon at 4:10 est when Yusei Kikuchi faces off against Corbin Burnes.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.