Grichuk wakes up offence, carries Jays past Orioles

Grichuk wakes up offence, carries Jays past Orioles
It was damage control time at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday and the Blue Jays were up to the task, closing out their first homestand with a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. That left the team with a 3-4 record as it headed on its first road trip of the season.

Randal Grichuk led the charge at the plate, with a double and two homers — including a 425-foot shot to left-centre that left his bat at 106.7 miles per hour. It was the sixth multi-homer game of Grichuk’s career and an early return on the five-year, $52-million (U.S.) extension he agreed to a day earlier.

“I think we’re going to sign a couple more guys to $52 million to get them going,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo joked. “I’m going to talk to (general manager) Ross (Atkins) about it."

Which guys? “We’ll see.”

The Jays turned a two-run lead into a five-run lead in the eighth, with Grichuk’s second homer and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s two-run double. Gurriel had started the season 0-for-16.

Toronto needed those runs too, as Trey Mancini hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth before Ken Giles closed things out for his second save.

The organization has work to do draw more fans. Wednesday’s announced crowd was 11,436, bring the total for the three-game series to 34,006.

The Jays showed some signs of improving what has ailed them, setting a season high with 10 hits.

“I think we started out a little slow offensively,” Grichuk said. “The pitching has been phenomenal. I’m excited to see that over a full season. If they can do that, or even close to that, I think we’re going to be in good shape. Offensively, it’s a long season for a reason. We know what we’re capable of.”

“His (splitter) is an equalizer,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told reporters. “It’s a fastball out (of) the hand that just dies at the end.”

Urena went 1-for-3 and is batting .500 on the year. It was a good showing by Urena, whose job could be threatened by the arrival of Alen Hanson, part of the Kevin Pillar return from San Francisco. Toronto has to decide whether it can carry two utility players on its bench.
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