MLB: Whit Merrifield victorious in his debut with the Blue Jays

MINNEAPOLIS — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run homer, Teoscar Hernandez hit the long ball for the second straight game and the Toronto Blue Jays easily beat the Minnesota Twins 9-3 on Thursday night.

Whit Merrifield, who announced earlier in the day that he was now vaccinated against COVID-19 and could now play in Canada, added two hits in his first game with the Blue Jays since acquiring the Royals from Kansas City for two minor league players at the trade deadline.

Earlier this season, Merrifield missed the series between the Royals, his former team, and the Blue Jays in Toronto, because his vaccination status did not allow him to work in Canada. The veteran has dispelled doubts of a possible absence from his team’s home games by confirming that he is now entitled to participate fully in the activities of the formation.

The Blue Jays posted their 12th victory in their last 15 games and benefited from an effective performance for six innings from pitcher Alek Manoah (12-5).

The Blue Jays starter gave up two runs and two hits, although he tied a career-high this season by walking four times.

On his previous departure, Manoah had to leave the match due to a bruised elbow. In the fourth inning Thursday, he was hit in the right bicep area by a ball hit directly to the mound, but he stayed in the game.

It was the Twins’ first hit.

Twins starter Sonny Gray also held the Blue Jays offense in check until halfway through the game when Cavan Biggio got the first hit, a single after two out in the fifth inning.

Gray’s night at work ended after the fifth inning after he had only one hit but walked five, a season-high.

Emilio Pagan (3-5) took over from Gray and allowed three runs _ two earned _ on four hits in one inning of work.

Hernandez fired a pitch from Pagan into the second balcony to left field to kick off a sixth inning three-run for the Blue Jays. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Merrifield added productive singles.

The Guerrero circuit, his 22nd this season, capped an eighth round of six runs.

In the loss, Jose Miranda had two RBIs. Jake Cave added his first homer in his third game of the season.

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