The Toronto Blue Jays regained batting form on Saturday and look to continue that trend Sunday afternoon in the final of their three-game series against visiting Cleveland Guardians.
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The Blue Jays leveled the series on Saturday with an 8-3 win per game. Rookie Davis Schneider went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer with a walk, three RBIs, and three runs leading.
The teams split six games in their season series.
Toronto is scheduled to start left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (9-4, 3.52 ERA) on Sunday. In four career starts against Cleveland, he is 0-2 with a 1.67 ERA.
The Guardians are expected to play with right-hander Noah Syndergaard (2-6, 6.42). Syndergaard, a former Blue Jays contender, is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four career games (three starts) against Toronto.
Schneider hit his three-run home run in the Blue Jays’ first inning on Saturday after the Guardians scored once.
“It’s a huge place,” said Blue Jays manager John Schneider. “They scored first and then…we came back with a two-out, two-run home run. That’s exactly what we were missing. It was a great day. … Was definitely a spark. We needed that.” .”
Schneider had not played for a week before starting at second base on Saturday.
“You just have to work every day. It’s difficult, but you just have to make the best of it,” said the infielder. “You want to go out there and try to do your best. … It was pretty cool today to do what I did.”
It was the fourth home run Schneider hit since his promotion from Triple-A Buffalo. Along with Carlos Delgado (five home runs in 1994), he was the only player in franchise history to hit at least four home runs in his first ten major league games.
Schneider started against left-hander Logan Allen on Saturday but earned another start against a right-hander on Sunday.
“I’ve been like all year, ‘We’re trying to find the right place for everyone,’” said John Schneider, who is not related to Davis Schneider. “And with 32 games left now, performance definitely comes into this equation as well. So yeah, I mean it’s not too hard if you do what he does.”
The Blue Jays tried to help the Guardians, who weighed the bases down in the sixth with a single and two Toronto errors on groundballs. Yimi Garcia replaced Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu and hit his first hitter to force a run and cut the lead to 5-3. Garcia knocked out the next three batters.
“That was a big inning,” said Guardians manager Terry Francona. “It looked like Toronto was about to implode. A few errors and a pitch hit, but we only got one.”
Jose Ramirez hit his 20th home run of the season for Cleveland and Tyler Freeman hit his first home run of his career.
“It’s cool,” Freeman said. “I made my debut last year and the next step is always to hit the first home run. The first voice I heard was Kwanie (Steven Kwan).”
The Guardians have lost 18 of their last 27 games.
Source : deadspin.com