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Gurriel's 2-HR game can't overcome Yanks

@ladsonbill24
June 26, 2019

NEW YORK -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was nearly a one-man wrecking crew against the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. He homered twice and drove in four runs, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays lost, 8-7, with New York sweeping the three-game series. Gurriel gave Toronto a

NEW YORK -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was nearly a one-man wrecking crew against the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. He homered twice and drove in four runs, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays lost, 8-7, with New York sweeping the three-game series.

Gurriel gave Toronto a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a three-run homer off left-hander James Paxton.

The Blue Jays added to their lead the following inning when Danny Jansen hit a two-run homer to make it a five-run game. Gurriel hit his second home run of the game in the fifth, a solo shot that gave Toronto a short-lived 6-5 lead.

Box score

Since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on May 24, Gurriel is 42-for-121 (.347) with 12 home runs and 23 RBIs.

“It’s just the work I put in during the offseason. It’s the reason I’m putting up good numbers,” Gurriel said through team interpreter Hector Lebron.

Said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo: “ Gurriel has been fun to watch. … The second home run he hit, I didn’t think it was going out, but he is having a good year.”

Gurriel was initially sent down in April because of a slump at the plate and his below-average defense at second. He is now a spectacular outfielder. He already has six outfield assists since he came back, and that’s among the league leaders. Gurriel is comfortable in left and has found his groove at the plate.

Asked what was more important to him, making a good defensive play or hitting home runs, Gurriel said, “The whole thing satisfies me as long as it helps the team.”

Cavan Biggio delivered a clutch game-tying RBI single in the ninth, but Nick Kingham couldn’t shut down the Yankees and send the game to extra innings, allowing a walk-off single to Gleyber Torres.

The Blue Jays went 2-4 on the road trip and head home to face the Royals in a four-game series. But Montoyo saw some brights spots during the trip.

“I know we were 2-4, but we were in every game against two of the best teams [Red Sox and Yankees] in baseball,” the skipper said.

Different outing for Thornton

After strong outings against the Astros and Red Sox last week, right-hander Trent Thornton took a few steps back against the Yankees.

Thornton lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs. The weird thing is, Thornton was staked to a 5-0 lead after 1 1/2 innings. After that, Thornton had a tough time getting outs. Starting in the second, he allowed a solo homer to Didi Gregorius and a two-run single to Aaron Judge. Thornton threw 43 pitches that inning.

By the fourth, Thornton was out of the game after allowing a tying home run to DJ LeMahieu. Thornton threw 88 pitches in the no-decision.

“It was really tough. I threw a lot of pitches early. That set the tone,” Thornton said. “LeMahieu put together a good at-bat against me to start the game. I was just behind in the count. I didn’t execute my pitches the way I like to. I made some bad pitches in some untimely situations. … I don’t think I was very good today.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.