The Toronto Blue Jays current torrid stretch has been highlighted by the best play in the young career of outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Over his last 11 games, Gurriel Jr. has hit .384 (15-39) with five home runs, and 22 RBI. Two of the homers were grand slams, bringing his season total to four, tied for the most in a season in franchise history.
Gurriel’s Jr’s sublime play has coincided with a complete team turnaround that has put the Jays in control of their own playoff destiny. It all started with his titanic blast that helped erase a 6-run deficit back on September 3rd against the Oakland Athletics.
Piña Power was back at it Sunday afternoon versus the Baltimore Orioles, launching a first-inning “granny” that set the tone for a 22-7 series-clinching laugher. He added a two-run jack and a bases-loaded walk to finish with a career-high seven RBI in the game.
The Blue Jays have lost just once during Gurriel Jr.’s outrageous run. They’re clearly at their best as a team when their lineup has hot bats from top to bottom. That’s exactly what they’re able to boast about now.
Since the start of September, the bluebirds have been paced by Gurriel Jr, Marcus Semien (.326, 7 HR, 17 RBI), and Teoscar Hernández (.372, 5 HR, 16 RBI). They’ve continued to receive steady contributions from Vladmir Guerrero Jr., who’s hit .380 with five home runs this month, and from Bo Bichette, who’s had five multi-hit games in September.
The squad has also received steady production from catchers Danny Jansen (11-25,3 HR, 5 doubles, 9 RBI since returning to the lineup on August 31st) and Alejandro Kirk (9-28, 4 HR, 8 RBI for the month).
All of that combines to make the Jays lineup the hottest, and perhaps the longest in MLB. A lineup that snatched victory from what seemed like certain defeat a couple of times in the last two weeks.
At the forefront is Gurriel Jr., even though he usually hits towards the bottom. He provides crucial protection and ensures his teammates see some good pitches. Lately when they do, they haven’t missed. Now he has two weeks to become the Blue Jays all-time single-season grand slam leader.