Hernandez’s homer powers Blue Jays past Guardians to end 3-game skid

Teoscar Hernandez smashed a leadoff seventh-inning homer to lift the Toronto Blue Jays to a come-from-behind 2-1 win against the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday.

With the game tied, Hernandez took Cleveland starter Tristan McKenzie (8-9) deep to left-centre field for his 17th homer.

Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also managed to extend his hit streak to a career-high 22 games with a first-inning double as the Blue Jays (61-51) halted its three-game slide to win for only the seven time in seven outings.

The Guardians (60-53) saw their six-game win streak end before 44,977 at Rogers Centre.

Jordan Romano earned a four-out save, his 26th, to preserve another shutout performance for Toronto’s bullpen. Zach Pop, Adam Cimber, Anthony Bass and Jimi Garcia did not allow a run in their combined three innings. Bass (3-3) picked up the win for working a clean seventh inning.

On Friday, the Blue Jays bullpen blanked Cleveland in the final five innings.

After thumping the Blue Jays 8-0 in the series opener on Friday, Cleveland opened with a run in the first inning.

Steven Kwan led off with a walk and advanced to second when Canadian Josh Naylor earned a two-out free pass. Andres Gimenez knocked in Kwan with a single to centre field.

The Blue Jays continued to be stymied by Cleveland’s pitching. Finally, Matt Chapman led off the fifth inning with his 23rd homer to left centre to tie the game.

Blue Jays centre-fielder Raimel Tapia made two brilliant catches. With a runner on first and nobody out, the left-handed outfielder made a diving catch to his left on a line drive from Amed Rosario in the opening inning.

In the fifth inning, Tapia made a running catch over his right shoulder on the warning track in left centre off the bat of Jose Ramirez to end the inning with runners on first and second.

Tapia also was thrown out at home plate, trying to score on a single from second base to end the seventh inning.

Blue Jays starter Mitch White went 4 2/3 innings, giving up a run on three hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

After a rough first inning, White retired eight in a row before a fourth-inning walk to Gimenez.

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