Yusei Kikuchi, Four Runs and Six Hits in Six Innings; Guardians Beat Blue Jays 10-7

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) works against the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023.

TORONTO (AP) — Kole Calhoun hit a tiebreaking double in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-7 on Sunday.

Guardians starter Noah Syndergaard allowed five runs and four hits — including three home runs — in six innings against the team that drafted him in the first round in 2010. The right-hander was designated for assignment following the game.

José Ramirez and Ramón Laureano each hit two-run home runs as the Guardians took two of three from Toronto.

Calhoun said he hoped the victory would energize Cleveland before a three-game series at AL Central-leading Minnesota that begins Monday.

“Huge game,” Calhoun said. “Hopefully we can use that momentum as we roll into the biggest series of the year for us right now. It’s a game you can definitely build on.”

Laureano went 3 for 4 with two walks, while Calhoun was 3 for 5 with a walk. Both scored three runs.

“We’re lucky to have (Calhoun),” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “And Laureano is chipping in, doing some things too. And they’ve been hitting in the middle of the order. They’ve done a really good job.”

Davis Schneider and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. each hit two-run home runs, and George Springer added a solo shot, but it wasn’t enough for the Blue Jays. Toronto has lost four of its last five.

Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette left after five innings because of a sore right quadriceps. Bichette returned Aug. 19 after missing 16 games because of right knee tendinitis. Toronto went 8-8 without him.

Bichette went 0 for 3 before departing. He began the day leading the AL with 152 hits.

Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman left in the sixth when Whit Merrifield pinch hit for him. Chapman was removed because of an inflamed right middle finger.

Manager John Schneider said Bichette is day-to-day. Chapman was expected to undergo an MRI.

“(Bichette) has been feeling it a little bit and has been playing through it,” Schneider said. “We just wanted to be careful. I don’t think he really hurt anything. It was more precaution than anything.”

Danny Jansen doubled off left-hander Sam Hentges to begin the bottom of the ninth but first baseman Calhoun threw Jansen out at third base on Cavan Biggio’s attempted sacrifice.

Primarily an outfielder, Calhoun has made 14 starts at first base this season.

“I don’t really know what I’m doing over there,” Calhoun joked. “It came my way and I thought I had a shot at third and took a chance.”

Right-hander Jay Jackson (3-1) intentionally walked Ramirez in the 11th and his wild pitch put runners at second and third before Calhoun’s double.

Laureano followed with his eighth home run.

Emmanuel Clase (2-7) got the final five outs for the Guardians.

Andrés Giménez’s two-run double in the eighth put Cleveland ahead 6-5, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half on Daulton Varsho’s RBI single.

Guerrero homered in the first off Syndergaard, his 20th. Cleveland tied it on Ramirez’s two-out homer in the third, his 21st.

Tyler Freeman and Myles Straw hit RBI singles off Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi in the fourth, but Springer’s 17th homer in the bottom half cut it to 4-3.

Davis Schneider put Toronto in front when he homered in the sixth, his fifth home run in 11 big league games. The rookie also homered and had three hits in Saturday’s 8-3 win.

Kikuchi allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) reacts after giving up two runs during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians in Toronto, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023.