Reyes's homer, Hoerner's double help Cubs eke out 7-5 win over Blue Jays

·4 min read
Reyes's homer, Hoerner's double help Cubs eke out 7-5 win over Blue Jays

TORONTO — Mitch White has the kind of strike-out pitches the Toronto Blue Jays are looking for, but interim manger John Schneider wants to see the newest member of his rotation hone in.

White pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with five strikeouts as Toronto fell to the Chicago Cubs 7-5 on Wednesday. Schneider said the 27-year-old righty has good pitches, he just has to be more tactical in how he uses them.

"I think his pitch mix got a little bit predictable, a little bit too much spin, not enough heat," said Schneider. "It's encouraging that they're swinging at his stuff, for sure.

"So then it's just buckling down the execution part."

White (1-5) was sent to Toronto by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade on Aug. 2 along with infielder prospect Alex De Jesus for pitchers Nick Frasso and Moises Brito. White said that he let his pitch count get high too early in the game.

"I can't be trying to strike guys out from Pitch 1," he said. "Do some weak contact and get the game moving a little bit.

"Obviously, it slowed down in the first couple of innings and then they jumped on it after a lot of pitches."

Alejandro Kirk had a three-run home run for the Blue Jays (70-59) and Cavan Biggio added a two-run shot.

Toronto relievers Trevor Richards, David Phelps, Yimi Garcia, and Tim Mayza pitched the rest of the way, with Phelps giving up a run.

Franmil Reyes had a home run and Nico Hoerner's double scored two runs for Chicago (56-75). Ian Happ, Rafael Ortega and Zach McKinstry each added an RBI single.

"We needed this win. We hadn’t played bad baseball here," said Cubs manager David Ross after his team dropped two of three games in Canada.

Luke Farrell started for Chicago, pitching two innings in a no decision, striking out two but allowing two runs on two hits. Manuel Rodriguez (1-0), Mark Leiter Jr., Erich Uelmen, Michael Rucker and Rowan Wick came out of the bullpen for Chicago. Wick earned his ninth save of the season.

The Cubs got to White early, scratching out a run in the first as Happ's bouncing single scored Seiya Suzuki.

Chicago added to that in the next inning when first baseman Alfonso Rivas was caught stealing second. As Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette applied the tag, Cubs catcher Yan Gomes ran home from third to make it 2-0.

"It sounds complicated, but it's not really a tough play for (Kirk at home plate)," said Schneider. "In a perfect world, your eyes go to third base as you're getting ready to throw to second."

Hoerner doubled in the third to score Reyes and Happ. In the next at bat, Ortega singled to bring in Hoerner for a 5-0 Cubs lead.

Biggio answered back in the bottom of the inning with a towering shot to the second deck at Rogers Centre. His 375-foot home run also scored Teoscar Hernandez.

Reyes got a round of boos from the 28,572 in attendance when he hit a solo home run off of White in the fifth with two outs. His 13th of the season ended White's night on the mound and gave Chicago a 6-2 lead.

Kirk brought the Blue Jays to within a run in the sixth inning, sailing a pitch from Uelmen into the second deck. Kirk's 13th homer of the season brought in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

McKinstry added some insurance for the Cubs in the seventh when his single cashed in Rivas.

PLAYER TO BE NAMED OFFICIALLY NAMED — Toronto received catcher Edward Duran from the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night. He was the player to be named later in a trade on Aug. 2 that sent relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass to the Blue Jays for infield prospect Jordan Groshans.

ROMANO FIRED UP — A video of Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano with a look of quiet intensity on his face in Toronto's dugout made the rounds on Twitter Wednesday morning after the product of Markham, Ont., earned a four-out save in a 5-3 win over Chicago. Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said he saw the video and that he knows to steer clear of Romano between innings when he's in the midst of an attempted save.

"He goes in the tunnel and he does his own little thing and re-emerges with one or two outs and he does a lot of self talk," said Schneider. "He does a lot of things to really keep himself engaged."

UP NEXT — The Blue Jays have Thursday off as they travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game series against the Pirates. The nine-game road trip will also see Toronto visit Baltimore and Texas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2022.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press