Gurriel Jr. homers twice in Jays’ 10-5 rout of White Sox
CHICAGO (AP) — Marcus Stroman might be watching the next emerging star in Toronto.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit two of Toronto’s five home runs, Curtis Granderson led off the game with a homer and the Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 10-5 on Friday night.
Gurriel followed Granderson’s blast by hitting the next pitch into the left-field seats. The 24-year old Cuban shortstop added another solo shot in the fourth and a double in the eighth and had his ninth straight multihit game.
“It’s unbelievable. He’s extremely hot,” said Stroman, the starter and winning pitcher. “He’s young but he is a professional hitter and he knows what he is doing in the box. He’s got a plan when he steps in for every at-bat and it is exciting to see. I think he is going to be a main staying name for a long time in Toronto.”
Gurriel hit both home runs on the first pitch.
“I’m ready for whatever pitch. When you go out there you have to be ready for any pitch. First pitch, second pitch, every pitch counts,” Gurriel said through a translator. “He made a couple of mistakes there and I was ready to swing,”
Randal Grichuk added a two-run homer and Kendrys Morales also connected for the Blue Jays, who began a season-high, 10-game road trip. The Blue Jays tagged White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez (4-9) for five home runs as they ended a three-game losing streak.
The five home runs allowed by Lopez were one short of a modern day record.
Granderson hit the second pitch of the game into the right-field seats for his 10th of the season. It was Granderson’s 47th leadoff home run and second of the season.
Stroman (4-7) — also the starter when Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson last started a Blue Jays game with back-to-back homers in 2016 — pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits.
“It felt good. Ever since I came back from the DL, I feel like I’m back to being myself,” Stroman said, “and when I’m myself I’m being aggressive and keeping it on the ground, kind of pitching off that sinker.”
Stroman spent most of May and June on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue.
After J.A. Happ got dealt to the Yankees on Thursday, there was added importance to going deep in the game.
“That’s honestly my goal, each and every time. If I don’t go at least six (innings), I consider that a disappointment,” said Stroman.
The White Sox fell 31 games below .500 as manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper were ejected in the first inning. Lopez allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. He is 0-4 in his last four starts, allowing 21 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.
“I cannot say why they’re hitting home runs against my pitches. There should be more focus for me,” Lopez said through a translator.
Lopez didn’t think his problem was fatigue, though Renteria wouldn’t rule it out.
“It could be. We’ll have to assess that,” Renteria said.
Grichuk hit his 14th homer in the second, a two-run shot to straightaway center, and Justin Smoak added an RBI double to make it 5-0.
Gurriel homered for the seventh time this season with a solo shot off Lopez in the fourth inning. It was his first multihomer game. Morales homered off Lopez in the fifth for his 12th of the season and Russell Martin greeted White Sox reliever Thyago Vieira with an RBI double.
Infielder Matt Davidson mopped up with Chicago’s third straight loss by pitching a perfect ninth inning.
With Happ being traded, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will go with RHP John Axford as Saturday’s starter. Axford will make his first career start after making 537 appearances as a reliever. The last time Axford started was in 2008 when he was in the minors. He will not make any changes to his routine. “I’m not going to do any thing different. I’m just going to do what I normally do. It’s not going to be a starter’s routine. I don’t know what that is,” said Axford.
RHP Lucas Giolito (7-8) is scheduled to start for the White Sox on Saturday. He is 3-4 with a 7.53 ERA in 10 home starts this season.