Toronto records back-to-back wins after beating Braves 5-2
TORONTO — A single from Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s sacrifice fly brought in two runs in the seventh inning to push the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-2 come-from-behind win against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
The victory gave the Blue Jays (23-16) back-to-back wins to begin the three-game set against the National League-leading Braves (25-14).
With one out in the seventh inning, Kevin Kiermaier belted a single to left field for his third hit of the game. He advanced to second on George Springer's single to centre. A double steal put Blue Jays in scoring position.
Kiermaier scored on Bichette's smash past Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia with the infield drawn in. Springer then scored on Guerrero's line drive out to right field.
Danny Jansen drove in Whit Merrifield for a fifth run in the eighth inning after the latter walked and stole second and third base.
Erik Swanson (2-1) picked up the win, while Jordan Romano earned his 10th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning before 41,341 at Rogers Centre. A.J. Minter (2-5) suffered the loss for his work in the seventh inning.
Toronto overcame a two-run deficit by scoring a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Guerrero led off the fourth with a double to right-centre. He moved to third on Matt Chapman's infield hit and scored on Merrifield's ground out to second.
Kiermaier hustled for a one-out double to right field in the fifth and scored on Bichette's two-out single to right.
Springer saved a run with a diving catch to his left in right field to rob Eddie Rosario of a hit to end Atlanta's fifth inning.
The Braves jumped to a 2-0 advantage on Marcell Ozuna's two-out, two-run homer over the Toronto bullpen in left field. Rosario was on board, having reached base on an infield hit to Blue Jays second baseman Merrifield.
Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios lasted 5 ⅔ innings, striking out three and walking three with six hits.
Atlanta starter Bryce Edler went five innings, yielding five hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Blue Jays escaped a bases-loaded situation with no out in the seventh inning. Reliever Jimi Garcia coaxed Sean Murphy into a weak grounder, allowing Guerrero to get Ronald Acuna Jr. at the plate.
Garcia gave way to Swanson, who struck out Rosario and got Ozzie Albies to fly out to left.
Yusei Kikuchi (5-0) will start for the Blue Jays in Sunday's three-game series finale against the Braves. With injuries to starters Max Fried (left forearm) and Kyle Wright (right shoulder), Atlanta has yet to name its starter.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2023.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press