Guerrero hits two homers in big win for Blue Jays
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered twice to become the third-youngest player to hit his first two MLB homers in the same game. As the Toronto Blue Jays beat the San Francisco Giants 7-3 on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Guerrero became the youngest in franchise history to go deep as the Blue Jays won the opener of a six-game trip after losing five of six on a homestand in which they totalled eight runs.
“He just said like he always told me, ‘Don’t look for home runs. They’re going to come,”‘ Guerrero said through a translator. “I’m going to give both balls and the bat to my dad. Also, I’m going to keep using everything that I used today except the bat that I want to give to my dad.”
The touted 20-year-old Guerrero homered in the first inning against Giants opener Nick Vincent, also his first in 14 big league games. Meanwhile, his effort to straightaway centre was measured at 111.3 mph and travelled an estimated 438 feet.
“He was talking about it during batting practice, and he did it,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We knew that was coming. Because he’s that good. He could carry a team if he gets hot. He can do stuff like that.”
Meanwhile, the Blue Jay slugger had a hard-hit single in the second then added an even more powerful blast in the sixth off Reyes Moronta, a three-run drive estimated at 451 feet.
The crowd at Oracle Park let out a collective gasp as the ball sailed over the wall in left-centre. Winning pitcher Trent Thornton even got caught up watching.
“I was on second base, and I’m just watching it go and go, and I’m like, ‘Wait, I gotta run,”‘ Thornton said. “He had a great game. That was just a lot of fun.”
The only players younger than Guerrero to hit their first two home runs in the same game was Brian McCall in 1962 (19 years, 248 days) and Manny Machado in 2012 (20 years, 35 days).
Two-sport star Danny Ainge was the youngest Blue Jays player to ever homer. He did so on the 2nd June 1979, aged 20 years, 77 days old. Therefore, Guerrero is younger by 18 days.
Guerrero grounded out in his final at-bat. Also, he entered the day batting .191 with one RBI.
“He wasn’t pressing,” Montoyo said. “He plays, and he has fun. He’s an even-keeled kind of kid.”
The Guerrero family already had long-ball history at Oracle Park. Because the elder Guerrero won the 2007 Home Run Derby at the waterfront stadium.
“This kid is going to be a great player, he is,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You saw the bat speed. You saw how fast the ball comes off his bat. I’ve seen his dad hit balls like that.”
Thornton pitched the three-hit ball into the sixth inning for his first major league win. The rookie right-hander struck out seven and overcame five walks. Thornton also singled twice to help the Blue Jays break out of their offensive funk.
Edwin Jackson will make history when he pitches for his 14th major league team in his Toronto debut Wednesday.