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Hays hits two homers to power Orioles over Blue Jays in series opener

Austin Hays Baltimore Orioles Austin Hays - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Baltimore Orioles showed off their depth Monday with a four-homer performance in a 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman kept the big guns at the top of the order in check but some of the other Orioles stepped up in the opener of a four-game series between divisional rivals.

"They do damage and you've got to try to avoid it," said Toronto manager John Schneider. "You've got to try to pitch to weak contact against these guys instead of trying to strike them out because they're not going to give in.

"I thought they had a good approach against Kev."

Austin Hays hit two home runs, Anthony Santander had a two-run blast and Ramon Urias added a late solo shot to help the Orioles (38-20) win for the ninth time in 11 games.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who were outhit 10-8.

Gausman (4-4) tied a season high by giving up six earned runs as Toronto (28-31) fell for the second time in seven games.

"They're deep and they've got a lot of young talent," Gausman said. "They're obviously playing with their hair on fire right now. They're very confident. You've got to kind of tip your cap."

The Toronto starter walked Ryan O'Hearn to lead off the second inning and the cleanup hitter scored on Santander's 11th homer of the season.

The Blue Jays caught a break in the bottom half when shortstop Gunnar Henderson threw high to first base on a routine grounder by George Springer. Daulton Varsho followed with an RBI triple as Toronto halved Baltimore's lead.

In the fourth inning, Colton Cowser drove in Santander with an RBI double to make it a two-run game. Hays then belted a 2-2 splitter over the wall for his first homer of the season.

Guerrero hit a Grayson Rodriguez offering 415 feet to straightaway centre field for his sixth homer of the year.

Hays went deep again in the seventh inning for the sixth multihomer game of his career.

"It’s great to see him, after a tough start, play with some edge right now," said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde.

Gausman gave up six hits, one walk and had three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays put runners on the corners in the seventh after singles by Springer and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. But Rodriguez struck out Kevin Kiermaier and Yennier Cano came on to get Davis Schneider on a lineout.

Rodriguez (6-2) allowed one earned run and seven hits. He had four strikeouts.

"Tonight there was a lot of early contact," Rodriguez said. "When they’re giving me that early contact for outs, I’m going to take it."

Urias went deep in the ninth inning for his third homer of the year.

"They're a good team," Schneider said. "Everyone in the league knows that. But you have to find a way to score because they're pretty good at putting up runs."

Announced attendance was 23,842 and the game took two hours 30 minutes to play.


Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker was ejected in the fourth inning by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

Walker apparently objected to the crew chief's decision to call a ball on a Gausman pitch that appeared to be at the top of the strike zone.


Toronto closer Jordan Romano won't throw for at least three days after receiving an anti-inflammatory injection in his elbow on Sunday, Blue Jays manager John Schneider said before the game.

Romano, from Markham, Ont., was placed on the 15-day injured list last Thursday due to right elbow inflammation. He missed the first 17 games of the season with a similar issue.


Blue Jays right-hander Yariel Rodriguez is slated to throw around 55 pitches for Triple-A Buffalo in a relief role on Wednesday.

He has been on the IL since April 30 due to thoracic spine inflammation.


Right-hander Corbin Burnes (5.2, 2.35 earned-run average) was tabbed to pitch for the Orioles on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays have yet to confirm their starter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2024.

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