By IAN HARRISON | Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run homer, Danny Jansen added a three-run blast, and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their winning streak to seven games by beating the Chicago White Sox 7-3 on Wednesday night.
It’s Toronto’s longest winning streak since an eight-game run last Sept. 1-9.
Santiago Espinal added a solo shot as the Blue Jays won for the 11th time in 14 games.
Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu left after four innings because of tightness in his forearm. Ryu missed 24 games in April and May because of soreness in his forearm. He’ll undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the latest issue.
Ryu left his previous start, May 26 against the Angels, after five innings because of a sore elbow.
“I don’t think it’s similar from my last start,” Ryu said through a translator. “It felt more similar to earlier in the season when I was hurt.”
Ryu allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits. He walked none and struck out four.
“That was huge what he did today, giving us four innings,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Otherwise, I don’t know how we could have covered that game.”
Jansen said he was surprised when Ryu was forced out early.
“He had a couple of pitches where they made us pay but, for the most part, I thought his changeup was sharp,” Jansen said. “His fastball command was good, and he mixed in some curveballs, too.”
Ross Stripling (1-1) replaced Ryu and worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings. David Phelps pitched 1 1/3 innings and Yimi Garcia finished.
José Abreu hit a two-run home run and AJ Pollock added a solo blast, but the White Sox lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday because of a non-COVID illness, Pollock homered on Ryu’s third pitch of the game. It was Pollock’s third homer of the season and the fifth leadoff blast of his career.
Espinal replied with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first, snapping White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech’s 42-inning homerless streak to start the season.
Espinal has a career-high three home runs this season. The leadoff homer was the first of his career.
Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette drew a bases-loaded walk in the second but Kopech struck out Guerrero on a 98 mph fastball to leave the bases full.
Jansen’s homer, his seventh, was a two-out drive that came on an 0-2 fastball in the third.
Abreu answered with a two run drive in the fourth, his sixth, but Guerrero gave the Blue Jays some breathing room with a two-out blast off Bennett Sousa in the eighth, his 10th.
Pitching on nine days rest after starting the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees on May 22, Kopech (1-2) allowed five runs and six hits in a season-low three innings.
“We’re trying to preserve him but it’s out of the routine to have that much rest,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We don’t regret giving him the rest but I think that probably has something to do with it.”
Kopech said he felt “fresh” after the extended down time, but struggled with both his command, and Toronto’s talented sluggers.
“As a pitcher you can sometimes give these great hitting teams a little too much credit and then it becomes kind of a mind game,” Kopech said. “I think I did that a little bit today. I tried to make my pitches better than they were.”
Kopech walked four, struck out four and threw 85 pitches, 46 strikes. His ERA rose from 1.29 to 2.20.
Ryu reached 1,000 career innings by fanning Abreu in the first. He’s the second South Korean to reach the milestone, joining Chan Ho Park (1,993 innings).
GOING LONG, PART 1
Eight of Guerrero’s 10 homers this season have gone 400 feet or more. Wednesday’s blast was measured at 414 feet.
GOING LONG, PART 2
Abreu’s 451-foot homer was his longest of 2022.
White Sox: INF Yoán Moncada (quadriceps) did not start for the fifth straight game but came on as a pinch hitter in the ninth and struck out looking. … OF Eloy Jiménez (right hamstring) went 1 for 4 in his return to the lineup with Triple-A Charlotte. Jiménez left Saturday’s game, the first of his rehab stint with Charlotte, because of soreness in his leg.
Blue Jays: OF George Springer was not available because of a non-COVID illness. … LHP Tim Mayza (forearm) felt fine after a bullpen session Tuesday and will throw another Friday, Montoyo said. … RHP Nate Pearson (mononucleosis) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo. … The Bisons released OF Mallex Smith.
White Sox RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 2.41) starts Thursday against Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah (5-1, 1.77). Cueto hasn’t faced Toronto since 2015. Manoah is 8-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 13 career home starts.
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