Grichuk hits 3-run HR, Jays beat Chicago to snap 5-game skid
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays took full advantage of a new opponent in town and turned their tough stretch around.
Randal Grichuk hit a three-run homer, Teoscar Hernandez added a solo shot and the Blue Jays snapped a season-worst, five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Grichuk’s two-out blast in the first inning was his sixth of the season and came off starter Dylan Covey (0-2). The homer gave the Blue Jays more runs with one swing than they scored in a three straight losses to Minnesota earlier this week. Toronto was shut out in the first two games and lost 9-1 in Wednesday’s series finale.
“I think the off day was big for us,” Toronto’s Justin Smoak said, referring to Thursday’s break in the schedule. “Minnesota are the hottest team in baseball right now, so it was a tough series. We really had nothing going against them. To get a couple of big home runs tonight and get runs early, that always helps.”
The sweep at the hands of the Twins gave the Blue Jays eight losses in nine games.
“To get them out of town was a good feeling, and get somebody else up there,” reliever Daniel Hudson said. “It was a big win for the team tonight, for sure.”
Hernandez added a leadoff homer in the second inning, his third of the season. Hernandez hadn’t homered since April 18, at Minnesota.
Covey allowed four runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was upset at himself for walking Smoak and Rowdy Tellez before Grichuk’s drive.
“I’m OK with giving up a solo home run here and there, but I’ve got to cut back on those two-out walks,” Covey said. “Different ball game if those guys aren’t on when they hit the homer.”
Toronto’s scheduled starter, right-hander Clay Buchholz, was scratched and placed on the 10-day injured list because of a sore shoulder. Right-hander Daniel Hudson opened for Toronto, the first time this season the Blue Jays used an opener.
Hudson allowed a run in the first on back-to-back doubles by Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu.
Chicago’s Tim Anderson hit a solo homer off Sam Gaviglio in the fifth, and the White Sox cut it to 4-3 on Leurys Garcia’s RBI groundout in the seventh.
Joe Biagini (2-1) came on and struck out Moncada for the final out of the seventh, stranding a runner at third. Biagini pitched the eighth before Ken Giles got Charlie Tilson on a fly ball to the warning track for the final out for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Giles retired the side in order for the fifth straight appearance and reached 100 saves for his career.
“That’s definitely very special to me to get that number,” Giles said.
Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero batted second, the highest he has hit in the order since his promotion to the majors. Guerrero grounded into a double play in the first, grounded out in the third, fouled out in the fifth and flied out in the seventh. The hitless performance dropped his average to .146.
White Sox: OF Eloy Jimenez (right ankle) ran the bases before the game. He’s expected to do so one more time over the weekend before beginning a rehab stint.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Thomas Pannone, who was optioned to Buffalo on Thursday, was recalled after Buchholz’s injury. ... Buchholz’s injury list stint is retroactive to May 9.
Anderson did not flip his bat after his homer. Last month, Anderson and Grichuk exchanged comments on social media after Grichuk took issue with excessive celebrations of home runs.
Guerrero Jr. lined a foul ball into the seats down the left field line during his final at bat. The hard-hit ball narrowly missed an infant and appeared to strike a young girl, who was able to walk out of her section for additional treatment. Her condition was not immediately known.
White Sox: Minor league OF Preston Tucker was released and signed with a team in the Korean Baseball Organization. ... Triple-A Charlotte acquired OF Paulo Orlando in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization.
Blue Jays: Toronto selected RHP Javy Guerra from Triple-A. OF Socrates Brito was designated for assignment. Acquired from San Diego on April 2, Brito hit .077 in 17 games, striking out 17 times in 39 at bats. ... The Blue Jays made a trade with Pittsburgh, acquiring minor league OF Patrick Kivlehan for cash.
White Sox: RHP Ivan Nova (1-3, 7.04) will make his eighth start of the season and the sixth away from home. He’s 5-7 with a 5.66 ERA in 17 career games against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (1-5, 2.96) allowed a season-worst six runs in his previous start on May 6 against Minnesota. He’s 2-3 with a 5.45 ERA in seven career starts against the White Sox.