CHICAGO (AP) — Following a slow start, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is showing why he’s one of the top prospects in the majors.
Guerrero hit another home run, Danny Jansen and Billy McKinney also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Sunday.
Guerrero has hit all four of his homers in the past six games and is 7 for 21 with nine RBIs during that span. The 20-year-old didn’t homer in his first 13 games after making his debut in late April.
“Like I always say, I don’t try to hit homers,” Guerrero said through a translator. “I just try to put good contact on the ball, and we’ll see what happens.”
Guerrero’s two-run drive broke a 1-all tie in the eighth inning. Jansen added a two-run homer in the ninth.
“You’re hoping the guy in front of him gets on, because he has a chance to do something every time he goes to the plate,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said of Guerrero. “It’s fun to have a guy like that in the lineup.”
José Abreu drove in both runs for the White Sox.
Daniel Hudson (3-1) worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles gave up an RBI double to the first batter he faced, then got four outs for his 10th save.
Kelvin Herrera (1-3) took the loss.
Toronto starter Trent Thornton allowed one run and three hits in six innings. White Sox starter Reynaldo López gave up one run and four hits in six innings.
“I did not have my best command today,” López said through a translator. “I fought through it. When you recognize that you don’t have your best stuff, you just try to pitch through contact just to get a quick out.”
McKinney’s homer leading off the third gave Toronto a 1-0 lead. Chicago tied it in the fourth when Yoán Moncada tripled and scored on a groundout by Abreu.
Jonathan Davis led off the Toronto eighth with a single and Guerrero homered over the bullpen and halfway up the bleachers in left field.
White Sox catcher Welington Castillo was surprised the rookie was able to turn on the 94-mph fastball off the plate inside.
“Herrera made a good pitch,” Castillo said. “It wasn’t like in (the middle) of the plate, and he got to it. We weren’t expecting that from him.”
Abreu had an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to trim the deficit before Jansen’s two-run shot off lefty Jace Fry in the ninth.
“It was big,” Montoyo said of Jansen’s homer. “Even more so against this club. Because they don’t quit. They’ve got a good offense.”
FINDING A GROOVE
Guerrero isn’t the only Blue Jays rookie to rebound from a slow start. Thornton earned his first win in the majors in his previous start and has allowed three runs and six hits in 11 2/3 innings in his past two starts.
“I’ve just been doing a better job executing pitches,” the 25-year-old right-hander said. “I’ve been doing a better job working ahead in counts and locating pitches. As long as I can continue that, I feel pretty confident in my stuff and being able to get guys out.”
Blue Jays: LHP Clayton Richard (stress reaction, right knee) allowed no runs and no hits in 3 1/3 innings on Saturday in a rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo. He threw 48 pitches (31 strikes), struck out four and walked two.
White Sox: OF Eloy Jiménez (high right ankle sprain) was 7 for 22 (.318) with a homer and RBI in five rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte entering Sunday. No decision has been on when Chicago’s top prospect will rejoin the team. “We’re just making sure he’s healthy,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I’m sure you’ll see him with us shortly.”
Blue Jays: RHP Edwin Jackson (0-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start for Toronto on Monday afternoon in the opener of a four-game series against Boston. LHP David Price (1-2, 3.75) goes for the Red Sox.
White Sox: They have not named a starter Monday night for the opener of a four-game series at Houston and likely will go with a bullpen day. Chicago was winless in seven games last season against the Astros, who will start RHP Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA).