For one night at least, the Toronto Blue Jays turned back the clock and looked like the offensive powerhouse that often clubbed its way to victory a couple seasons ago.

A 9-2 rout of the Chicago White Sox featured timely hitting, extra-base hits, and driving in runners in scoring position. And for good measure, the home run jacket even made a return. 

The victory gave Toronto its first series win in a month and some needed fuel ahead of a weeklong road trip that could help the Blue Jays get out of the American League East division basement. 

A four-game series against the slumping Detroit Tigers will be followed by a three-game set against the White Sox, who sit last in the overall standings.

It's a great opportunity for the Blue Jays (22-26) to bank some victories before the season gets away from them. 

Bo Bichette, who hit a two-run shot in Toronto's seven-run second inning, said he has noticed an uptick in team enthusiasm of late. 

"I think there's more energy, more fight," he said. "Today we scored runs and we kept on scoring runs, which is incredibly important, down or up, to keep on getting after it. It has definitely been better."

Daulton Varsho and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored two runs apiece for the Blue Jays, who outhit Chicago 10-6.

Tommy Pham hit a solo shot and Nicky Lopez had two hits for the White Sox (15-35). Chicago has dropped five of its last six games. 

Chris Bassitt (4-6) allowed five hits over seven shutout innings for the Blue Jays. Toronto's last series win came against the San Diego Padres in a three-game set that wrapped on April 21. 

The seven-run outburst was the most in one frame for the Blue Jays since they scored nine times in the ninth inning of a 20-1 laugher against Tampa Bay last May 23.

"You have to keep building on leads," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. "Whether it's a big inning or whether it's one run every inning for five. So you need those at-bats and you need the guys in the bullpen to keep it where it is."

After Bassitt departed, Genesis Cabrera gave up two runs - one earned - in the eighth inning. Nate Pearson worked the ninth. 

The Rogers Centre roof was opened about 45 minutes before first pitch on a warm, sunny and windy evening in the Ontario capital. 

Chicago right-hander Nick Nastrini (0-3) issued a leadoff walk to Justin Turner in the second inning and gave up one-out singles to Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier that loaded the bases.

After Isiah Kiner-Falefa flew out, Davis Schneider drove in two runs with a flare to left field and Varsho followed with a two-run triple. Guerrero tacked on an RBI single before Bichette hit his third homer of the year. 

The Toronto shortstop put on a new-look home run jacket in the dugout after the blast. The celebratory garment had been shelved since the 2022 campaign. 

"Whether it's a jacket, whether it's a handshake, whether it's a red carpet, whatever it is, you need to have something that just unifies everybody," Schneider said. "I thought it was cool that they broke it out today."

The Blue Jays tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning. Varsho and Guerrero reached on one-out walks and scored after Bichette floated a single to centre field. 

Varsho scored easily and Guerrero came across on a throwing error by outfielder Dominic Fletcher. 

Bassitt, who issued two walks and had four strikeouts, lowered his earned-run average from 5.03 to 4.39. Nastrini, meanwhile, allowed eight earned runs, seven hits and six walks over 3 1/3 innings. 

"I really just wasn’t establishing that upper third of the zone," he said. "When I don’t do that it kind of makes it tough to pitch."

Announced attendance was 28,670 and the game took two hours 43 minutes to play. 


Kevin Gausman (2-3, 4.89 ERA) was tabbed to start for Toronto on Thursday against fellow right-hander Jack Flaherty (1-3, 3.79).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2024.