Hernández HR, Blue Jays halt Guardians’ 6-game win streak
TORONTO (AP) — Teoscar Hernández hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning, Matt Chapman also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Cleveland 2-1 Saturday, halting the Guardians’ season-high winning streak at six.
Hernández reached base twice as the Blue Jays snapped a three-game losing streak, righting themselves after an 8-0 loss Friday that followed two defeats at Baltimore.
“Bouncing back from the game yesterday is huge,” Hernández said.
Cleveland, the AL Central leaders, lost for the third time in 10 games.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games with a double in the first. Guerrero has the longest active hitting streak in the majors.
Hernández and Chapman both connected off Guardians starter Triston McKenzie, who has lost three of his past four decisions. McKenzie (8-9) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“He kept a really strong lineup at bay,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said of McKenzie.
Anthony Bass (3-3) pitched one inning for the win as five Toronto relievers combined to pitch 4 1/3 shutout innings in relief of Mitch White.
“It lined up well after Mitch,” interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Just a credit to those guys. They were all pretty much nails.”
White allowed one run and three hits. One of his three walks came around to score.
“We never really drew a bead on (White),” Francona said, “and then their bullpen is really good.”
Yimi Garcia got two outs in the eighth inning, leaving after Josh Naylor’s double, and Jordan Romano walked Andrés Giménez before striking out Oscar Gonzalez.
Pinch-hitter Will Benson reached on a one-out single in the ninth, advancing to second on shortstop Bo Bichette’s throwing error. With the sellout crowd of 44,977 on its feet, Romano struck out Steven Kwan looking to finish it, earning his 26th save in 30 chances.
Making his second start for Toronto since being acquired from the Dodgers earlier this month, White allowed one run and three hits in 4 2/3 innings, leaving with runners at first and second. Zach Pop came on and got Guardians slugger José Ramirez to fly out to the warning track in center.
Adam Cimber got two outs before Bass took over in the seventh.
Giménez hit a two-out RBI single in the first.
The Blue Jays tied it in the fifth on Chapman’s 23rd homer. The leadoff shot snapped a 16-inning scoreless drought dating to Tuesday’s game at Baltimore.
Chapman matched Guerrero for the Blue Jays team lead in home runs with his drive to left.
Hernández put Toronto in front with a leadoff homer in the seventh, his 17th.
“The pitch before that one (a foul ball), I hit my head really hard,” Hernández said. “I was really mad because I was missing all those pitches that I know I can do a lot of damage on. Then he kind of missed that one on the plate and I put a good swing on it.”
McKenzie said he missed his location on the pitch to Hernández.
“I wanted it in but I needed it up,” McKenzie. “It’s just a really bad mistake.”
Giménez made an excellent play at second base to deny Toronto a run in the seventh.
Raimel Tapia chased McKenzie with a two-out double and Santiago Espinal greeted reliever Enyel De Los Santos with a single to shallow right. Giménez corralled the ball and threw home, where catcher Luke Maile tagged a sliding Tapia to end the inning. Toronto challenged, but home plate umpire Jim Reynolds’ call stood.
“That was a potentially game-saving play,” Francona said. “It gave us a chance.”
Giménez went 2 for 2 and also walked twice.
Toronto is 23-17 in one-run games. Only Seattle (27) has more one-run victories.
Hernández snapped an 0 for 8 slump with his home run.
WHAT A RELIEF!
Toronto relievers have pitched 9 1/3 shutout innings so far this series.
Blue Jays: OF George Springer (right elbow) was scheduled to hit on the field and test his arm with some light throwing, interim manager John Schneider said.
Guardians RHP Shane Bieber (7-7, 3.21) starts Sunday against Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (8-8, 2.91). Gausman has a 2.27 ERA in six career appearances against Cleveland.
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