Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stepped to the plate looking for a pitch up in the zone that he could drive. He got a high slider and parked it in a party deck.
Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night.
“Especially late in the game, I kind of mentally prepare myself even more just in case a big moment like tonight happens,” Guerrero said. “That’s what I do.”
Guerrero singled and scored in a two-run fourth. But his biggest hit came just in time for the Blue Jays.
He gave Toronto a 4-3 lead when he connected against Joe Kelly (1-4) after Brandon Belt led off the eighth with a walk. The three-time All-Star went the opposite way on a 2-1 pitch, driving it out to right for his 13th home run.
“That’s part of his game, for sure,” manager John Schneider said. “I’ve always said he’s a good hitter before a good power hitter. But if he’s getting pitches that he can do damage on, he’s gonna do just that.”
All-Star Whit Merrifield had two hits and two RBIs, and the Blue Jays got back to winning coming off a three-game sweep by Boston.
White Sox All-Star Luis Robert Jr. made it 3-2 in the sixth with a long three-run drive against Chris Bassitt for his 25th homer. But Chicago lost again after dropping two of three at struggling Oakland.
Bassitt threw six innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
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Nate Pearson (5-1) worked the seventh. Erik Swanson pitched around a triple by Tim Anderson in the eighth.
Jordan Romano pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 28 chances, and the Blue Jays came away with a tight win after pounding Chicago 20-2 in a three-game sweep at Toronto in April.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead on Merrifield’s two-run, bases-loaded double in the fourth against Lucas Giolito.
Bassitt breezed through the first five innings before the White Sox got to him for three runs in the sixth. He gave up back-to-back singles to Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson with one out in the sixth. Robert then put Chicago on top 3-2 when he drove an 0-1 pitch about halfway up the left-field seats for his 25th homer.
“If he swings at strikes, balls are going to go a long way,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “And he’s swinging at strikes. He’s having some really good at-bats, taking really good pitches. This is who he is. This is not like, oh he’s on a hot streak, this is who he is.”
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Top prospect Oscar Colás had a bunt single after being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. The 24-year-old Cuban made the opening day roster, only to get sent down after struggling.
Blue Jays: RF George Springer got shaken up chasing a foul by Jake Burger when the ball ricocheted off the screen and hit him in the cheek, though he stayed in the game. … RHP Chad Green threw 30 pitches in live batting practice on Tuesday. … The Blue Jays hope to have RHP Adam Cimber (right shoulder impingement) throwing off the mound in the next few days, Schneider said.
White Sox: White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (right shoulder inflammation) remains on course to return soon after the All-Star break, GM Rick Hahn said. The team planned to give him some extra rest, but decided to put him on the 15-day injured list after a loss to the Los Angeles Angels last week. “It was pretty clear that the shoulder fatigue he was feeling was affecting his delivery and obviously the command that night,” Hahn said. … 3B Yoán Moncada (lower back inflammation) will continue to ramp up activity in hopes that he’ll be ready for a rehab assignment following the All-Star break, Hahn said. … The White Sox hope to have closer Liam Hendriks (right elbow inflammation) throwing off the mound by the weekend. … Hahn said RHP Mike Clevinger (right biceps inflammation) is expected to throw a sideline session on Saturday. Assuming no setbacks, he is expected to return soon after the break.
Toronto RHP José Berríos (8-6, 3.74) looks to continue his dominance over Chicago, while RHP Lance Lynn (5-8, 6.47) gets the ball for the White Sox. Berrios is 13-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 23 starts against the White Sox and tossed seven scoreless innings in a win at home on April 25.
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