TORONTO — Danny Jansen’s walk-off two-run single to left field in the ninth inning gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-5 win and series sweep against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Down a run, the Blue Jays loaded the bases in the ninth inning. Jansen’s smash between third and short scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman.
The Blue Jays (24-16) won for the 12th time in 15 home games in 2023, this time before a Mother’s Day crowd of 40,895 at Rogers Centre.
The Braves (25-15) smacked three homers off Toronto Blue Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi to enjoy an early 5-3 advantage.
Ronald Acuna Jr. and Kevin Pillar hit solo shots in the first and fourth innings, respectively, while Ozzie Albies smacked a two-run homer in the third inning for the National League-leading Braves (26-14).
With injuries to starters Max Fried (left forearm) and Kyle Wright (right shoulder), the Braves turned this game over to the bullpen, beginning with opener Collin McHugh, who lasted only 1 2/3 innings.
Atlanta employed six different pitchers, with Raisel Iglesias (1-1) earning the loss for his shaky ninth inning that included a long single off the right-field wall to Guerrero and a walk to Chapman.
Acuna drilled the game’s third pitch into the second deck in left field, and Michael Harris II singled home Marcell Ozuna in the second inning for a 2-0 lead for the visitors.
The Blue Jays sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning to score three times thanks to an RBI single from Brandon Belt and a two-run hit from Guerrero.
But the 3-2 Toronto lead was short-lived. Albies smoked a two-run homer to left field in the third inning, and former Blue Jays outfielder Pillar sent a solo shot on a similar path in the fourth.
Toronto pulled within a run with George Springer’s fifth of the year to lead off the fourth inning.
Toronto left 12 runners on base to the Braves’ 11. Nate Pearson (1-0) earned the victory.
Guerrero extended his on-base streak to 19 games with his two-out, two-run single to centre field in the second inning.
The Blue Jays first baseman began the afternoon with the third-longest active on-base streak in Major League Baseball.
Alek Manoah (1-3) will start for the Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game series against the New York Yankees at home on Monday. The Yankees have yet to name a starter for the series opener.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2023.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press