MLB

Teoscar Hernandez hammers 2 home runs to help Blue Jays top Atlanta

Teoscar Hernandez hit two homers and drove in three runs, Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven sharp innings and the Toronto Blue Jays won 4-1 on a cold Wednesday night to continue their dominance of Atlanta.

Starter Hyun Jin Ryu allows just 1 run over 7 innings to pick up 3rd win of season

Toronto's Teoscar Hernandez watches his two-run home run during the ninth inning of the Blue Jays' 4-1 win over Atlanta on Wednesday. (Ben Margot/The Associated Press)

Teoscar Hernandez hit two homers and drove in three runs, Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven sharp innings and the Toronto Blue Jays won 4-1 on a cold Wednesday night to continue their dominance of Atlanta.

Toronto improved to 5-0 against its 1992 World Series combatants this season and have outscored them 35-16.

Hernandez has hit four homers and driven in 15 runs in 12 games since returning from the COVID-19 injured list on April 30. He said he wasn't worried about falling behind on his baseball skills while missing 16 games.

"When I was at home during my recovery I wasn't doing a lot of baseball stuff," Hernandez said. "I was trying to get my body ready because I knew if my body was ready, the baseball stuff was going to be there."

William Contreras hit a long homer in the fifth for the only run allowed by Ryu (3-2). Ryu gave up five hits, struck out six and walked one.

Ryu said the pitcher's duel with Max Fried helped him on the mound.

"In a situation like that we tend to focus more and be able to concentrate on all our pitches," Ryu said through a translator.

Reliever Tyler Chatwood retired Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna in the eighth. A.J. Cole pitched the ninth for his first save.

Hernandez hit the first pitch thrown by right-hander Luke Jackson (1-1) in the seventh over the centre-field wall, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead. He added a two-run shot 464 feet to left-centre off Josh Tomlin in the ninth.

On Tuesday, Hernandez had a go-ahead infield single in the eighth in a 5-3 win over Atlanta. He said his swings are "in a good path" and added "that's what I'm going to try to keep doing."

The temperature for the first pitch was a brisk 11 degrees. Fans wore jackets and stocking caps and huddled under blankets, an unusual necessity for Atlanta in May.

Contreras pulled a knee-high pitch from Ryu 463 feet into the seats in left field for his second homer. The drive came exactly one week after Contreras, the younger brother of Chicago Cubs all-star catcher Willson Contreras, hit his first homer at Washington.

The Blue Jays pulled even in the sixth. Cavan Biggio walked, stole second and scored on Marcus Semien's double to the left-field wall. Semien extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Fried allowed only two hits and one run in six innings. The strong start by Fried was especially important after Atlanta learned right-hander Mike Soroka might not pitch this season.

Before the game, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Soroka suffered a setback in his recovery from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon suffered last season. Soroka will have a second surgery early next week in Green Bay, Wisc., to determine the cause of renewed discomfort.

The Blue Jays had runners thrown out on the bases in each of the first two innings. Bo Bichette singled in the first and took a wide turn around first base when the ball bounced under the glove of Acuna in right field. Acuna recovered quickly and threw Bichette out at first base in a call confirmed on a replay challenge.

Hernandez walked to lead off the second and was caught stealing following a pickoff throw by Fried.

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