Randal Grichuk celebrates new contract in style as Blue Jays win 5-3
If fans’ were worrying whether there would be additional pressure on Randal Grichuk after his recent contract extension, then all their nerves were put at ease during Wednesday game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Instead of nerves, Grichuk displayed confidence and flair in his batting to show why the management was desperate to keep him at the Blue Jays for the next five years.
He hit two homers and a double, to support another brilliant start from Matt Shoemaker, as the Blue Jays gained revenge on the Orioles and avoided a sweep.
Speaking about scoring the sixth multi-homer game of his MLB career, Grichuk said: “Any time a team commits to you like that you want to go out there and reassure them that and made a good deal.
“If I went out there and went 0 for four it probably wouldn’t have changed their minds, they know who I am at this point, but it’s definitely satisfying to go out there and have a good game after that.”
Meanwhile, Shoemaker threw seven scoreless innings for the second consecutive night for the Blue Jays. He only allowed two hits, as he struck out eight. The win was the first home success of the season.
However, the Orioles didn’t make it easy for the Blue Jays.
Trey Mancini ensured that there was still life in Baltimore to make it 4-2 with a three-run homer. Before, Ken Giles came in for the final outs.
Grichuk was playing in the center following the departure of veteran Kevin Pillar on Tuesday. He recalled that there was jeering from the fans on the homer.
He said: “I actually had one fan on Mancini’s home run saying ‘Pillar would have caught that.
“So that was definitely nice of him. But it’s one of those things where I know I can play center. I know that defensively I can make plays and make things happen and trust in my abilities.”
The pressure was lifted off Lourdes Gurriel Jr as he hit two. Including an infield single that signaled his first strike of the season. Furthermore, he recorded a pair of runs to inflict a first defeat in five on Baltimore.
Charlie Montoyo was quick to realize the pressure was easing off Gurriel. He said: “He feels down right now but you need to be lucky sometimes and he was lucky.
“He was two for four with two RBIs, so that’s going to get him going, I believe.”
Meanwhile, Grichuk believes that the end to the speculation over his future will now enable Blue Jays fans to see the best of him. Speaking to reporters following the win, he said: “I think there were two pitches the whole game that was kind of in my head.
“A lot of that pressure is taken off by having that extension. I’m excited to see what the season can look like.”
The Blue Jays face the Cleveland Indians next.