Grichuk single in 10th, Springer 2 HRs as Jays beat Braves
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Randal Grichuk lined an RBI single in the 10th inning, George Springer hit his first two homers with the Blue Jays, and Toronto rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Saturday night.
Grichuk won it with two outs and the bases loaded when he hit an 0-1 pitch from Nate Jones (0-2) into center field.
“We never really feel like we’re out of it,” Grichuk said. “I feel like with this offense that have, if only half the guys are clicking, I feel like it could be up there towards the top of the league.”
Jordan Romano (2-1), the eighth Toronto pitcher on a bullpen day, worked a scoreless 10th inning.
Atlanta’s Cristian Pache hit a grand slam for his first major league homer. Ronald Acuña Jr. connected for his ninth home run this season.
Springer tied it at 5 with his seventh-inning solo shot off Luke Jackson. He got the Blue Jays within 4-2 in the third on an opposite-field, two-run homer to right against Charlie Morton.
Springer, playing in his third game with Toronto, signed a $150 million, six-year free-agent contract in the offseason and missed time with oblique and quadriceps injuries.
“There’s no secret he makes a lineup better,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It was fun.”
Both starting catchers left with injuries. Toronto’s Alejandro Kirk has left hip flexor discomfort and the Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud injured his left thumb.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said d’Arnaud will be going on the injured list and will return to Atlanta on Sunday to be checked by team doctors.
“He jammed his thumb, screwed it up,” Snitker said. “It’s not good.”
Catcher William Contreras will be recalled from the Braves alternate site.
Kirk will not play Sunday and will have his status evaluated.
Pache made it 4-0 on his second-inning drive off Tommy Milone. He was recalled from the alternate site before the game for his second stint with the Braves this year after center fielder Guillermo Heredia went on the 10-day injured list with right hamstring inflammation.
Acuña had a solo shot in the fifth that put Atlanta ahead 5-2.
Toronto cut the deficit to 5-4 in sixth on Grichuk’s run-scoring single and an RBI double by Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Grichuk was thrown out at the plate on Gurriel’s hit on a relay throw by shortstop Dansby Swanson. D’Arnaud was hurt on the play and departed after a couple warmup throws.
Kirk was hurting to first base on a grounder.
Tim Mayza kept the Blue Jays close by getting an inning-ending double-play grounder from Freddie Freeman with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Morton allowed four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
BO AT THE CENTURY MARK
Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette played in his 100th game and has a number of franchise records for the first 100 games played. The shortstop is first in hits (124), runs (69), doubles (32), home runs (23) and extra-base hits (56).
The Braves allowed six homers in Friday night’s 13-5 loss to Toronto. The Chicago Cubs went deep also six times against Atlanta on April 17 at Wrigley Field. It’s the first time since at least 1901 that the Braves have allowed six homers twice in a single season.
Braves: OF Ender Inciarte (strained left hamstring) is hitting but is still working to increase the level of his running program.
Blue Jays: RHP T.J. Zeuch (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and was optioned to the alternate site.
Braves RHP Ian Anderson (2-0) will start Sunday’s series finale. Toronto has not announced its starter. RHP Ross Stripling (0-1), out with a flexor strain, is a possibility.
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