Guerrero drives in 2, Bichette has 2 hits in return from injury, Blue Jays beat Royals 5-4

FILE: Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left, reacts after hitting a single, next to...
FILE: Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left, reacts after hitting a single, next to Kansas City Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino (9) during the first inning of a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)(Colin E. Braley | AP)
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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TORONTO (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, Bo Bichette had two hits and two RBIs in his return from injury and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Friday night.

Guerrero’s two-run double off right-hander Carlos Hernández (1-10) helped the Blue Jays (78-63) hold onto the final AL wild-card berth with their fourth win in five games.

Bichette went 2 for 5 and scored once after being activated off the 10-day injured list before the game. The two-time AL hits leader returned after missing nine games because of a strained right quadriceps.

Blue Jays rookie Davis Schneider reached base four times. He doubled in the second and fourth, and walked in the sixth and seventh.

Chad Green (2-0) got two outs for the win and left-hander Tim Mayza got one out in the eighth. Closer Jordan Romano recorded the final four outs for his 33rd save in 36 chances despite giving up an RBI single to Salvador Perez in the ninth. Edward Olivares flied out to end it, stranding runners at first and second.

Kansas City left-hander Austin Cox had to be helped off the field in the the seventh after appearing to injure his left knee while covering first base.

Cox struck out pinch hitter Santiago Espinal to begin the inning, but went down in pain while trying to get to the base on Alejandro Kirk’s infield single. Hernández came on to replace Cox.

Tyler Heineman pinch ran for Kirk and advanced on a wild pitch before Kevin Kiermaier flied out. George Springer walked and Bichette tied it with a first-pitch single.

Guerrero followed with a two-run double. He has 16 RBIs in 24 career games against Kansas City.

Pinch-hitter Ernie Clement capped the four-run rally with a two-out RBI single off left-hander Tucker Davidson.

Bobby Witt Jr. cut it to 5-3 in the eighth when he doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by pinch-hitter Olivares.

Royals outfielder Dairon Blanco hit a two-out solo homer off left-hander Yusei Kikuchi in the third, his second.

It was the second homer off Kikuchi in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Kikuchi allowed one run and three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

Toronto tied it against right-hander Alec Marsh in the sixth when Kiermaier led off with a triple and scored on Bichette’s one-out double.

Kansas City reclaimed the lead with a two-out rally against right-hander Trevor Richards in the seventh. Freddy Fermin singled and scored on Nick Loftin’s triple. Richards left after walking Kyle Isbel and Green came on to strike out Blanco.

Right-hander Collin Snider opened for the Royals and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings.


Royals: Kansas City activated 1B Nick Pratto (left groin) off the IL and optioned INF Matt Beaty to Triple-A Omaha.


To make room for Bichette, Toronto optioned INF Mason McCoy to Triple-A Buffalo.


RHP Kevin Gausman (10-8, 3.39 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Saturday. Kansas City hasn’t announced a starter.