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Blue Jays Surge Thanks to a 2-Homer Night from Hernandez

ATLANTA, Ga. — Two teams in similar spots in the MLB standings met for interleague play in Georgia on Wednesday. The Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays both sit in 3rd in their respective divisions.

Both teams are led by their young sluggers; for the Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr. leads the league in homeruns (11) and the National League in runs (32) and total bases (80). Meanwhile, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the MLB in times reached safely (66) and ranks 2nd in the American League in on-base percentage (.452).

In Wednesday’s matchup, a different slugger came through; 2020 Silver Slugger winner Teoscar Hernandez crushed two homeruns to push the Blue Jays (19-16) to a 4-1 win over the Braves (17-19). This marks the 10th multi-HR game for Hernandez in his career and his first since August 14, 2020.

Hernandez has been a hot stretch since returning from the COVID-19 list. In his 12 games back, he has hit .347 with a double and four homers.

“I am just trying every day to get something out of my practice and out of the games to make myself ready for the next day or the next at-bat,” Hernandez said of his latest hot streak, “try to stay focused with that and keep working.”

On the mound, starter Hyun Jin Ryu earned his 3rd win of the year (3-2) with a solid outing. In his 7 innings pitched, he gave up just 1 earned run on 5 hits with 6 Ks. Reliever Luke Jackson picks up his first loss in relief of starter Max Fried.

“He was back to Ryu. Throwing strikes, keeping hitters off-balanced. You don’t know what is coming, what pitch is coming next. That is when you know he is on,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.

Homers continue to fly for both teams

blue, jays

The series between the Braves and Blue Jays features 2 of the best power-hitting teams in the league. Coming into the game, the Braves led the MLB with 51 HR and the MLB’s top HR hitter in Ronald Acuna Jr. The Blue Jays are not far behind in 2nd with 49 HR coming into the night.

The 2 homers from Hernandez closed the gap, but the Braves managed to stay on top. Catcher William Contreras knocked a solo homer to left in the 5th inning to push the Braves total to 52. 

The rest of the series is shaping up to be filled with long balls. The 51 HR for the Blue Jays are just 3 less than they had in all of the shortened 2020 season.

Braves continue to struggle in interleague play

The Braves hoped to end their interleague struggles in 2021 at home in this series. However, after dropping the first 2 games, they find themselves continuing to struggle. Prior to Tuesday’s series opener, the Braves had played all 6 of their interleague games in AL parks. They had struggled in those games, going 1-4 away from Atlanta.

With 2 losses to open the series, the Braves now fall to 1-6 in interleague play in 2021. Atlanta will look for their 2nd win of interleague play Thursday in the final game of the series with Toronto.



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