Lourdes Gurriel homered and Hyun Jin Ryu pitched six solid innings to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
After Miami’s Sixto Sanchez got through the first four innings on 43 pitches, Gurriel snapped the rookie right-hander’s 11-inning scoreless string with a two-run shot for a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Gurriel drove Sanchez’s 0-1 slider over the left-center wall for his fifth homer.
“He is a good pitcher with many different pitches,” Gurriel said in Spanish. ”I’m focusing on pitches in the zone and making contact.”
Ryu (3-1) allowed one run and six hits, walked two and matched a season high with eight strikeouts.
“As a starting pitcher I’m focused on putting up zeroes so we still have a chance to win," Ryu said through a translator.
A.J. Cole and Rafael Dolis each pitched scoreless innings and Anthony Bass got his fourth save for the Blue Jays, who are 12-12 in one-run games.
Jonathan Villar had two hits in his second game since joining the Blue Jays in a trade with Miami on Monday.
Sanchez (1-1) was lifted after seven innings. He allowed six hits and struck out five.
Miami, which was 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, scored its run on Garrett Cooper’s RBI single in the fifth.
“At least we gave ourselves a few more chances today,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “We just weren't able to get the hits when we needed them.”
The Blue Jays committed three baserunning blunders that ended innings. Jonathan Villar was thrown out attempting to stretch a single into a double in the first, and Miami catcher Jorge Alfaro picked off Gurriel at first in the second and Villar at third in the fourth.
“Sometimes it hurts more than others,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said of his team's mistakes on the bases. “Today it hurt more because of the guy on the mound. That kid is a pretty good-looking prospect, probably one of the best arms I've seen this year. So when we gave outs on the bases, it was going to be tough to score. We need to clean that up because every game we play is a close game.”
RYU SETTLES DOWN
The Marlins threatened in the second inning when Brian Anderson led off with a bloop single and Corey Dickerson reached on Villar’s throwing error. But Ryu retired Lewis Brinson on a groundout and struck out Jorge Alfaro and Jazz Chisholm.
“I think Ryu showed you today he’s our ace,” Montoyo said. “That’s what aces do. He kept making big pitches after big pitches. He was outstanding. That’s why you need guys like that.”
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON?
Former Marlins star Jeff Conine says his family had no inkling the team was interested in acquiring his son. On Monday, the Marlins traded infielder-outfielder Jonathan Villar to Toronto for highly regarded outfield prospect Griffin Conine.
“It’s kind of surreal thinking I may be driving 35 minutes south to watch my son play in the major leagues,” said Jeff Conine, who still lives in South Florida. He played on the Marlins’ 1993 expansion team and on their World Series championship teams in 1997 and 2003.
Blue Jays: RHP Trent Thornton underwent surgery Tuesday to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow. Montoyo anticipates Thornton will be ready for next spring training.
Marlins: RHP Eliecer Hernandez (lat muscle sprain) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Hernandez felt discomfort and departed after pitching two-plus innings in his start Tuesday against the Blue Jays. In a corresponding move, Miami promoted IF Eddy Alvarez from its alternate training site.
Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (3-2, 3.27 ERA) will make his second start for Toronto on Thursday at Boston. Acquired from Seattle Aug. 27, Walker pitched six shutout innings against Baltimore in his debut with the Blue Jays on Aug. 29.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (3-2, 2.10 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Friday night. Lopez has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his six starts this season.
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