Bichette's grand slam leads Blue Jays past White Sox to avoid series sweep
Toronto slugger's 2nd career slam caps 5-run 4th inning
Bo Bichette hit a grand slam and Alejandro Kirk homered for the second straight game, leading Ross Stripling and the Toronto Blue Jays over the injury-riddled Chicago White Sox 9-5 Wednesday.
"Bo and everyone else, it was great to see the mindset this morning," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "I wish you guys could have seen it. Like everyone said, `let's go. Let's turn the page.' It's not easy for young guys, but they did a good job of that."
Kirk hit an RBI single in the first and a homer to center in the third. He tops All-Star fan voting for AL catchers and leads all qualified major league catchers in batting average (.307) and OPS (.857).
Kirk batted .364 (8 for 22) with four home runs and eight RBIs in five games against the White Sox this season.
Lucas Giolito (4-4) allowed seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in five innings. He has a 9.47 ERA in his last five starts.
"There's no excuse for how I've been performing,' Giolito said. "It's pretty god-awful."
Goodbye & Good Riddance 🤩 <br><br>That inning was GRAND! <a href="https://t.co/CS41qLjEew">pic.twitter.com/CS41qLjEew</a>—@BlueJays
Kirk is 4 for 9 with three home runs and six RBIs lifetime against Giolito.
Stripling (4-2) gave up one run in six innings. He scattered five hits and didn't allow a runner past second until Josh Harrison scored from first on a single by Luis Robert in the sixth.
Stripling has allowed 12 hits over his last 20 2/3 innings, posting a 1.31 ERA in his last four starts.
"If you don't have overpowering stuff, you can command your pitches," said Montoyo, who said reliever Yimi Garcia was unavailable because of left side discomfort. "He's been doing it and is really good. His [pitch counts] have been down because people make contact."
Green Light = Time to LAUNCH 🚀 <br><br>⭐️ <a href="https://twitter.com/alejandro_kirk?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alejandro_kirk</a> ⭐️ <a href="https://t.co/41eZzBtOlA">pic.twitter.com/41eZzBtOlA</a>—@BlueJays
The White Sox collected seven hits in the final three innings after Stripling departed. They scored three times in the eighth and brought the potential tying run to the plate, but Leury Garcia grounded out.
Robert extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He moved slowly running to first and stayed there even after his hit skipped past left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and eventually left the game in the eighth.
White Sox shortstop Danny Mendick left after colliding with left fielder Adam Haseley on a foul pop in the second and left due to right knee discomfort. Garcia, who had been sidelined for the last four games because of side discomfort, replaced him.
Right fielder Adam Engel left after three innings because of right hamstring soreness.
La Russa said Robert, Mendick and Engel underwent MRIs after the game.
"It was a good time to get [Robert] out of there," La Russa said.
"When he doesn't go [after] balls to the wall, he doesn't go to second, you know he's feeling some ouchies there."
Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martinez was ejected during the pregame lineup exchange. A night earlier, Toronto pitching coach Pete Walker was tossed during a 7-6 loss in 12 innings, and the argument about balls and strikes seemed to carry over.
White Sox picther Matt Foster was reinstated from the bereavement list. Davis Martin was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.
Blue Jays outfielder George Springer didn't play because of right elbow discomfort.
Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martínez was ejected before the game started for apparently commenting on the calls from last night's game <a href="https://t.co/om8jZrCGLE">pic.twitter.com/om8jZrCGLE</a>—@JomboyMedia
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (hip) was relegated to designated hitter duties. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (right hamstring tendon tear), on a rehab assignment at Charlotte, sent La Russa a text message indicating he was feeling better. "So better means it's different than `I'm ready to come back,"' La Russa said.
Blue Jays' Alex Manoah (8-2, 2.00) will face the Brewers on Friday in Milwaukee. Manoah allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings of an 8-2 loss Saturday to the Yankees.
Johnny Cueto (1-3, 2.95) will face the Orioles in Thursday's series opener for the White Sox. Cueto pitched seven innings of two-hit ball Saturday in a 7-0 victory over the Astros.