The Toronto Blue Jays finally stopped the bleeding Sunday with a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Six stellar innings from starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, followed by a two-run blast from Teoscar Hernandez, helped the Jays halt a six-game losing streak before this week’s four-game stand against the New York Yankees.
The Jays struck early in the first after Bo Bichette drilled a double off the glove of first baseman Alec Bohm, sending the walked Cavan Biggio to third and setting up RBIs for Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The Phillies also got on the board quickly when Hernandez fumbled a Didi Gregorius blast off the right field wall. Gregorius, however, was stranded at second when Walker promptly struck out Jean Segura.
From North Philly to your city 🚀<br><br>💣 <a href=”https://twitter.com/TeoscarH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@TeoscarH</a> 💣 <a href=”https://t.co/LbJODMNSXg”>pic.twitter.com/LbJODMNSXg</a>
The Jays failed to capitalize on chances early in the second, loading the bases twice. Only Joe Panik managed to try for home, where he was tagged out after Bichette’s glancing blow left the ball within pitcher Adonis Medina’s easy reach.
But they notched two more runs in the sixth when Adam Haseley couldn’t handle a drifting double from Jonathan Davis, driving in Gurriel Jr. and Panik to make it 4-1.
Bichette made use of the right field wall again in the seventh, nearly reaching the seats with a poke that ultimately stayed in the park but allowed him to get to third before a centre-field homer from Hernandez gave the Jays a five-run lead.
Philly soon mounted a comeback that again tested Toronto’s struggling bullpen.
The Phillies drew within three in the seventh after reliever Thomas Hatch loaded the bases, helped by an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who fumbled the throw to first on a single by Rafael Marchan. Guerrero missed another throw three plays later, allowing Bohm to drive in two before he was thrown out at second.
That brought Travis Shaw to first base and reliever Shun Yamaguchi to the mound midway through the eighth, when he managed two strikeouts but walked two before replacement Anthony Bass helped secure the final out of the inning.
The only blight on Walker’s solid outing was an error in the bottom of the fourth, when he fumbled a line drive from Scott Kingery and turned was should have been an easy out at first into a single for the young second baseman.
Hernandez was left limping with pain but stayed in the game midway through the bottom of the fifth after slamming into the wall in the midst of a daring catch on a deep ball from Andrew McCutchen.
Walker (4-3), coming off the shortest start of his season last week — 1 2/3 innings in a loss to the Yankees — allowed four hits and a run with two walks and eight strikeouts through six innings.
Medina (0-1) shouldered the loss, allowing three hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.