Blue Jays' Gurriel Jr. expecting a 'little competition' in matchup with brother
Siblings to face each other for 1st time when Toronto hosts the Astros on Monday
Three days after a record-breaking night on two diamonds across the continent, the Gurriel brothers will be under the same roof.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a pair of solo home runs in the Toronto Blue Jays' 11-3 loss to the Tampa Bay on Friday at the Rogers Centre. That same evening, his older brother, Yuli Gurriel, hit two of his own for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, making them the first brothers in MLB history with multi-homer outings on the same day.
On Monday, the two brothers will face each other for the first time as the Blue Jays open their final home series, a three-game set against the Astros.
The Cuban pair — who are separated in age by about nine years — talk regularly and are "excited" about the meeting, but Gurriel Jr. was coy about there being any bragging rights on the line.
"I think this is a new experience and a new thing we're going to share together, so we don't know exactly how we're going to feel about it," said the 24-year-old through his translator.
"We haven't talked about any competition yet. We're just trying to still live the moment that we are going to play against each other, but I'm pretty sure tomorrow when the game's going to start we're going to have a little kind of competition or something."
Watch the Gurriel brothers make MLB history:
Gurriel Jr. said he was shocked by their achievements on Friday, and tweeted his congratulations to his older brother, a first baseman for the Astros.
"It's something incredible that happened to us. We never thought about that. We couldn't believe it," said the young infielder.
"We were super proud for each other and I think it's something that we'll never forget in our lives."
The younger Gurriel, who has stuck in the majors after being called up from triple-A at the beginning of July, said despite the gap in age and experience he doesn't see his brother as a mentor, but rather a peer.
"Every time we talk about baseball we stay very professional about it," said Gurriel Jr., who has 11 home runs and 34 RBI this season.
"Yeah, we're still brothers and, yeah, we might talk a little bit differently than [with] a coach, for example, but we still listen to each other. I'm going to listen to him, but he's also going to listen to me. If I see something that he's not doing right or anything I'm not afraid to let him know what's going and what adjustments I think he should do."
While the Blue Jays are firmly out of the playoff race, Yuli Gurriel's Astros sit atop the AL West and clinched a playoff berth with their win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. They're also looking to repeat as World Series champions.
And though they'll be sitting in opposing clubhouses on Monday, Gurriel Jr. will still be rooting for his brother.
"I live his achievements as much as him I know we play for different teams, I know we wear different jerseys, but as soon as he's on the field and he's playing I'm cheering for him, I'm cheering for his team and he deserves it," he said.
"I'm pretty proud of him and I hope they win it again this year."