Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland Athletics Report - April 26, 2019
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, April 26, 2019
Blue Jays (4) - Athletics (2) Final
Photo Credit: @BlueJays
Brandon Drury hit a two-run walk-off home run, and Vlad Guerrero Jr. went 1-for-4 with a double in his debut as the Toronto Blue Jays doubled up on the Oakland Athletics 4-2.
Guerrero’s double to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning was the first hit of his career, and put the winning run in scoring position. A few batters later, Drury launched a two-run home run to right centre field scoring pinch runner Alen Hanson to win the game for the Blue Jays.
Marcus Stroman (1-3) built on his impressive start to the 2019 season with another dominant performance Friday evening. The 27-year old went seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and seven strikeouts on 97 pitches.
Eric Sogard went 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk. He is now hitting .394 with a 1.080 OPS in eight games with the Blue Jays.
A’s starter Mike Fiers (2-2) was solid in his seven innings of work. The veteran right-hander surrendered two runs on six hits and struck out five on 101 pitches. Fiers had surrendered 18 runs in his previous three starts combined.
Robbie Grossman went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit game-tying home run in the top of the eighth inning. It was his third of the season and the first of his career as a pinch-hitter.
Friday evening marked the major league debut of Guerrero Jr., largely considered to be the top prospect in baseball. In 288 career games in the minor leagues, the 20-year old collectively slashed .331/.413/.531 with a .945 OPS.
Guerrero’s first career at-bat came in the second inning. After laying off a borderline breaking ball, fouling off the second pitch and then being called on a third pitch strike, Vladdy ended up hitting a groundball to A's first baseman Kendrys Morales for the first out of the inning.
In his second at-bat he battled Fiers to a full-count and then took the 3-2 offering deep to left field. What looked like a would-be home run for the superstar prospect was robbed by leftfielder Chad Pinder who made a leaping catching on the warning track.
Guerrero hit another deep fly ball in his third at-bat, this time to right-centrefield. After falling behind 1-2 to Fiers, Vladdy launched a deep opposite field fly-ball which was hauled in just shy of the warning track by outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
Toronto (12-14) opened the scoring with their very first batter of the game. Lead-off man Eric Sogard launched a solo shot to the second deck in right field to give Toronto the early lead; 1-0.
The Blue Jays extended their lead thanks to a two-out rally in the third. Back-to-back base hits from Danny Jansen and Justin Smoak put two on for Randal Grichuk. The outfielder looped a single into centre field scoring Jansen from second to make it 2-0.
Oakland (14-14) erased the Blue Jays lead in the top of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Robbie Grossman launched a two-run shot over the right field wall scoring Ramón Laureano to tie the game.
The Blue Jays will continue their three-game series with the Athletics Saturday at Rogers Centre. Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.77 ERA) is set to face Brett Anderson (3-1, 3.04 ERA).