George Springer hits another leadoff homer, Blue Jays beat Cleveland 8-6

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George Springer hits another leadoff homer, Blue Jays beat Cleveland 8-6
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TORONTO — George Springer knocked in three runs with four hits, including another leadoff homer, to jump-start the Toronto Blue Jays to another win.

Toronto scored all its runs in the first three innings and held on for an 8-6 victory against Cleveland on Wednesday

It's the Blue Jays' fifth win in six games since their Rogers Centre return last Friday. 

Toronto (56-49) has not been seven games over the .500 mark since a 13-6 start in April 2018. 

The Blue Jays recipe for success back at their home field has been early offence and effective pitching from their starters against struggling lineups from the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland (52-53). 

This time lefty Steven Matz, before a crowd of 14,410, came through with six solid scoreless innings in his first start in Toronto. He struck out eight and surrendered six hits for his second win in his last six starts. 

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays offence produced another 10 hits after scoring a 7-2 win with 12 hits on Tuesday. 

The 31-year-old Springer, named the American League player of the week on Monday, continued to play a significant part in the Blue Jays' success over the past week. He slammed his third leadoff homer in five games to increase his career total to 42. 

He went 4 for 5, finally flying out to left in the eighth inning. After singling to centre and scoring on Bo Bichette's grounder to shortstop in the second inning, Springer's centre-field double knocked in two more runs in the third. 

Springer, signed as a free agent in the off-season, missed a significant part of the Blue Jays' first half with a left oblique strain and right quadriceps ailment. 

But in 16 games as the Blue Jays leadoff hitter, he has gone 24 for 64 (.375) with eight homers, eight doubles, 16 RBIs and eight walks. 

After Springer's leadoff prowess, left fielder Corey Dickerson pushed Toronto to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning with a two-run double to right. Dickerson was playing in his second game after being sidelined with a left foot injury that accompanied him when he was acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins in late June. 

Randal Grichuk singled home Dickerson. 

Before Springer's two-run double in the third inning, catcher Reese McGuire doubled home Grichuk for a 6-0 lead. 

Justin Garza replaced Cleveland starter J.C. Mejia (1-7) after McGuire's one-out double. Mejia hasn't won since May 24 against the Detroit Tigers. 

New Toronto right-handed reliever Joakim Soria, acquired in a trade last Friday, was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with an inflamed middle finger on his throwing hand. Tayler Saucedo was summoned from Triple-A Buffalo as a result. 

Saucedo struggled in relief in the eighth, yielding five straight hits. Cleveland second baseman Owen Miller hit a bases-clearing double down the left-field line with the bases loaded. He then scored on Bradley Zimmer's sacrifice fly to centre. 

Jose Ramirez and Oscar Mercado smacked ninth-inning homers off of Toronto closer Jordan Romano. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 4, 2021.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press

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