Blue Jays sweep Braves 7-2; Springer exits early
Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., left, congratulates Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after they scored on a double by Marcus Semien against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Mark Didtler, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, May 2, 2021 4:37PM EDT
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Marcus Semien homered and drove in four runs as Toronto finished off a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 win Sunday after Blue Jays newcomer George Springer exited early.
There was no immediate announcement on why Joe Panik pinch-hit for Springer in the sixth inning.
Springer was the designated hitter for the fourth consecutive game since making his Toronto debut Wednesday. The World Series MVP when Houston won its first title in 2017 signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal with the Blue Jays this off-season but missed time because of a strained oblique and later because of a right quadriceps strain.
Semien hit a two-run homer during a three-run eighth to help Toronto win for the seventh time in nine games.
Braves starter Ian Anderson (2-1) lasted just four innings, allowing four runs and six hits during an 89-pitch outing.
Anderson was coming off wins against the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs in which he allowed five hits in 13 2/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander limited the Cubs to one hit over seven innings on April 27.
Danny Jansen, hitless in his previous 35 at-bats, had an RBI single in the second and Semien's two-run double in the third put Toronto up 3-1.
Jansen also singled in the fourth and scored to make it 4-1 on Bo Bichette's double.
Ronald Acuna Jr. got Atlanta with 4-2 in the fifth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to the centre-field warning track off Ross Stripling.
Ryan Borucki (3-1) replaced Stripling and prevented further damage by striking out Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna.
Stripling, coming back from a right forearm flexor strain, gave up two runs and five hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Rafael Dolis entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth and struck out Acuna to get his third save.
William Contreras, recalled from the alternate site after the Braves put catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Alex Jackson on the injured list, had an RBI single in the second.
The Braves are 1-5 on Sunday. Atlanta went 44-18 (.710) on Sunday from 2018- 2020, one of just two teams in baseball to win 70 per cent of their Sunday games in that span. .The Los Angeles Dodgers went 48-16 (.750).
Braves: D'Arnaud went on the 60-day IL with a left thumb sprain after getting hurt Saturday night on a tag play at the plate. Jackson was placed on the 10-day IL with a strained left hamstring.
Blue Jays: C Alejandro Kirk (left flexor strain), LHP Tommy Milone (left shoulder inflammation), and RHP Anthony Castro (right forearm strain) were placed on 10-day IL.
Braves: Open a three-game series at Washington on Tuesday night. RHP Huascar Ynoa (2-1) will face RHP Joe Ross (2-1).
Blue Jays: Start a 10-game, 11-day road trip through three different time zones Monday night in Oakland. LHP Steven Matz (4-1) and Athletics RHP Frankie Montas (2-2) are the starters. Toronto will also make stops in Houston and Atlanta.