Published June 6, 2024

Guerrero Jr. hits three-run homer to power Blue Jays to 6-5 win over Orioles

By  Gregory Strong
Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates after hitting a three-run home run off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Cade Povich during third-inning American League MLB baseball action in Toronto on Thursday June 6, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run homer and Yusei Kikuchi threw six strong innings as the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Ernie Clement drove in a pair of runs and Justin Turner had two hits as Toronto salvaged a split of the four-game series. The Blue Jays (30-32) have won seven of their last 10 games.

Kikuchi (3-5) allowed one earned run and four hits over his 89-pitch outing. He had six strikeouts and walked a batter.

Yimi Garcia gave up a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Ryan O'Hearn in the ninth inning before retiring pinch-hitter Kyle Stowers for his fourth save.

Adley Rutschman hit a pair of homers for the Orioles, who have dropped two straight but have still won 10 of their last 14 games. Toronto outhit Baltimore 7-6.

Left-hander Cade Povich (0-1) made his big-league debut for the Orioles (39-22) and showed no sign of nerves with two hitless innings out of the gate.

He ran into trouble in the third after issuing walks to Clement and Danny Jansen. Guerrero drove them in with his seventh homer of the year.

Toronto used back-to-back flares to tack on another run in the fourth. Right-fielder Anthony Santander and two infielders fought the sun as they converged on a ball off Daulton Varsho's bat that dropped in for a double.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed by lifting a ball that landed in virtually the same spot. That allowed Varsho — who was running on contact with two out — to scamper home.

Rutschman put Baltimore on the board in the sixth inning with a rainbow shot that landed in the first row of seats in left field.

The Blue Jays chased Povich in the bottom half of the frame after Turner hit a one-out single and Varsho walked. With Dillon Tate on the mound, Kiner-Falefa moved the runners over with a groundout and Clement drove them in with a single.

Povich, who threw 100 pitches, was charged with six earned runs. He gave up five hits, walked a pair and had two strikeouts.

Nate Pearson worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning for Toronto.

Zach Pop, a native of Brampton, Ont., gave up a two-run shot to Rutschman in the eighth. It was his 12th homer of the year.

Announced attendance was 39,215 and the game took two hours 26 minutes to play.


Blue Jays manager John Schneider said right-hander Yariel Rodriguez had a "really good" outing for Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday night as he builds up for a potential return to the big leagues.

Rodriguez has been on the injured list since April 30 due to thoracic spine inflammation. He struck out four batters and did not allow a hit over three scoreless innings.


The Blue Jays will kick off a six-game road trip on Friday night at Oakland. Chris Bassitt (6-6, 4.13 ERA) is scheduled to start for Toronto against fellow right-hander Luis Medina (0-0, 0.00).

The Orioles will continue their road swing with a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2024.

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