ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays dugout got a laugh when slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. struck out against a position player. Given a second chance against Luke Raley, Guerrero hit his fourth career grand slam.
Guerrero had six RBIs and the Blue Jays stopped a five-game losing streak with a 20-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, scoring their last 10 runs off position players.
Guerrero put Toronto ahead with an RBI single off Taj Bradley (3-1) in the first, had a run-scoring single in the fifth that opened a 10-0 lead and hit a 423-foot grand slam in a nine-run ninth against Raley.
“We were all kind of laughing,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said of Guerrero’s strikeout on a 50 mph pitch. “It’s hard to do against a dude throwing 40, whatever. You kind of take it for what it’s worth. The fact that he was laughing, I loved it.”
“It’s something I can honestly say I never thought I would do … at least have one strikeout in the books,” Raley said.
Catcher Christian Bethancourt entered with two outs in the ninth and gave up Daulton Varsho’s RBI single and Jansen’s two-run homer.
Raley’s ERA is 30.38 after his second mound appearance this season. Bethancourt’s ERA is 81.00.
“It’s not my favorite place to be,” Raley said. “I told them before, I got rocked in high school, so I can’t imagine what these guys would actually do to me if I tried to pitch. So just try to lob it over the plate and save our bullpen.”
Cash said with a smile that Raley needs to add a changeup.
Zack Burdi gave up six runs in the fifth, five of them earned.
José Berríos (4-4) allowed one run, five hits and two walks, striking out five.