Sports

Late-game heroics from Springer sparks Jays to wild comeback over Sox

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Late-game drama has come to define this Blue Jays team, a resiliency and perseverance through some difficult stretches that bodes well as the season unfolds.

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Tuesday night was no different, a night that should have belonged to starter Kevin Gausman, who continues to vex opposing hitters with his command.

Gausman, who went six innings Tuesday after pitching eight innings in Beantown last week, was long gone when George Springer brought the crowd to its feet with a blast in the ninth that tied the game 5-5 and force extra innings.

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In the end, the Jays would pull off a remarkable 6-5 win.

The stage was set for a comeback win when Jordan Romano came in for the 10th and kept Boston off the scoresheet.

Boston decided to intentionally walk Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the bottom of the inning, bringing to the plate Alejandro Kirk with Bo Bichette at second.

It was Bichette who had recorded the final out in the ninth.

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Matt Barnes was on the mound for Boston in what turned out to be an epic evening at the ballpark. Barnes walked Kirk to load the bases as the air of anticipation grew thicker featuring Matt Chapman at the plate.

Chapman was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts entering his at-bat and proceeded to strke out looking.

Boston turned to Matt Strahm, who came in to face Raimel Tapia as the intrigue picked up a few notches against a five-man drawn-in Boston infield.

Tapia kept fouling pitch after the pitch. He then hit a ball to left field that allowed Bichette to score the winning run on a sac fly.

The Jays won late in Monday’s series opener and appeared to be well on their way to a late-inning loss when Boston pushed across four runs in the eighth.

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Toronto’s bats finally came to life when all seemed lost and buried.

In the eighth inning, the Jays turned to Yimi Garcia, who would not distinguish himself.

He yielded a single to pinch-hitter Rafael Devers and a second successive single to No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez, both to right field.

Trevor Story came through in the clutch by stroking an RBI double. A sac fly would give Boston the lead.

A fourth run would be scored on a sharply hit double as the Jays replaced Garcia with David Phelps.

Credit the home side for refusing to throw in the towel.

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TRACKING BO

It took all of one pitch for Bichette to make contact in his first at-bat, a night after he clubbed his first-career grand slam in sparking the Jays to their 6-2 win.

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One pitch into his night and Bichette was out on a fly ball.

In the bottom of the third, Bichette came to the plate following a Springer single. Once again, Bichette swung to foul off the pitch. He swung through the next pitch, fouled off the third before taking a pitch for a ball. He then struck out on a foul tip.

A night earlier, Bichette made a change to his approach during BP. It paid immediate dividends when he went deep in the eighth inning, his second belt of the season after Bichette went yard 28 times last year.

Bichette drew a two-out walk in Toronto’s bottom half of the fifth inning.

He flew out on the first pitch he saw to begin the eighth.

QUITE THE HAM

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s hot bat was nowhere to be found in the second game of the Jays’ four-game series against the Bosox.

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Seems the outfielder who has been batting cleanup in the wake of an injury to Teoscar Hernandez (oblique) experienced tightness in his hamstring in Monday’s season opener.

Anyone who has endured soft tissue issues can attest to the nuisance such setbacks can cause and the long-term impact if such issues are not properly addressed.

Gurriel Jr. will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

He has wielded a hot bat and has flashed his glove and arm when manning the outfield. In 17 games, Gurriel Jr. is batting .297 with two home runs and 10 runs batted in.

Gurriel had homered in each of his past two games, the 12th time he has achieved this feat in his career, including five times last season.

He had two hits in Monday’s win, which included a fifth-inning leadoff long ball, Gurriel Jr.’s second homer of the season. In Gurriel Jr.’s past 10 games, he has recorded six multi-hit efforts.

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RYU ON THE MEND

Nothing is certain, but it appears the return of lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu is imminent after throwing a BP session.

The big question surrounding the status of the veteran starter is when he can return, after the team placed Ryu on the 10-day injured list because of left forearm inflammation on April 17.

D-LIGHTFUL

Springer made a highlight-reel catch in centre Monday when he dove for a ball earmarked for the gap.

Springer moved over to right field in Tuesday’s tussle, a move that allowed the Jays to insert Zimmer as a starter in centre.

He recorded a Springer-like out on a sharply hit ball.

The Jays had Katoh at first base and slotted in the eighth spot in the lineup with Zimmer in the No. 9 hole.

The bottom of the order did restore Toronto’s lead when Espinal, who batted seventh, knocked in a run in the bottom of the fourth with two outs.

Katoh made a nice scoop in the sixth inning when Alex Verdugo hit a liner to third base. Matt Chapman came in on the ball and threw on the run. Katoh secured a line drive off the bat of J.D. Martinez to end the inning.

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