Blue Jays batter Brewers for big win in opening game of series

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hits a single during the fourth inning of the team's baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, June 24, 2022, in Milwaukee. (Kenny Yoo/AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Alejandro Kirk went 4 for 4 and homered for the third straight game before leaving with a bruised left hand in the seventh inning of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Kirk appeared to get hit in the hand on a backswing from Jonathan Davis in the seventh. The catcher remained in the game for the rest of that at-bat before leaving at the same time the Blue Jays made a pitching change. 

The team said Kirk underwent precautionary X-rays that came back negative.

Alek Manoah (9-2) pitched 6 2/3 strong innings, Cavan Biggio homered and Matt Chapman delivered a bases-loaded double as the Blue Jays won the first meeting between the teams since 2017.

Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor homered for the second consecutive game and Christian Yelich drove in two runs.

Manoah struck out six and allowed five hits, three walks and two runs to bounce back after giving up a season-high four runs in a 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday. Manoah has pitched so well this season that Friday’s performance actually caused his ERA to rise to 2.05.

The Blue Jays are 26-8 in Manoah’s 34 career starts.

Toronto grabbed an early 5-0 lead by opening the second inning with six straight hits against Adrian Houser (4-8). Chapman knocked home three runs with a bases-clearing double down the left-field line and scored when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ripped a double to right.

The Blue Jays extended their lead to 8-1 by scoring three in the seventh off Trevor Kelley, who allowed Biggio's solo shot and Kirk's two-run blast.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added an RBI double off Peter Strzelecki in the ninth. The Brewers scored twice in the bottom half.


Friday marked the first time Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo had ever set foot in Milwaukee's ballpark, even though the Brewers drafted him twice – in the 26th round in 1986 and the sixth round in 1987.

Montoyo made it as far as the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate before getting traded to the Montreal Expos in 1993.


Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martinez began serving a five-game suspension. He was punished by Major League Baseball for making contact with umpire Doug Eddings during the exchange of lineup cards before the Blue Jays’ 9-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.


Blue Jays: RHP Yimi Garcia went on the 15-day injured list with a left back strain. RHP Jeremy Beasley was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. ... OF George Springer was out of the lineup for a second straight game with an elbow issue. … RHP Nate Pearson, who still hasn’t pitched for Toronto this season, is dealing with a lat strain. 

Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff has worked through two rehabilitation assignments well enough that his next start will be in the big leagues. Manager Craig Counsell didn’t specify which day Woodruff would return, but Woodruff says he anticipates pitching sometime during the two-game series at Tampa Bay that begins Tuesday. Woodruff went on the IL with an ankle injury but has since been dealing with Raynaud’s syndrome, which causes decreased blood flow to the fingers. “As far as pitching and throwing, the feeling in the middle finger has gotten to the point where it’s become minimal and it’s not affecting me,” Woodruff said. “I’m not going out there and I can’t feel my middle finger. So, that’s the important part.” … INF Mike Brosseau (right ankle sprain) was reinstated from the injured list.


LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-3, 4.94 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays and RHP Corbin Burnes (5-4, 2.31) pitches for the Brewers when the three-game series continues Saturday afternoon.

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