10-4 OVER AND OUT: Hot-hitting Blue Jays rout A's in Ryu's return

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Against the A’s on Thursday afternoon in Oakland, Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t have anywhere near his ‘A’ game, or even ‘B’ game for that matter.

But given his importance to the Blue Jays’ cause, the ace left-hander is allowed a pass in this one, making his first start coming off the injured list.

When Ryu left the series finale after five innings, the Jays led 5-4, then tacked on five more runs for a 10-4 win and a split in the four-game set.

This was a game won by the Jays’ offence, which feasted on Oakland’s arms for 16 hits, including three home runs.

Randal Grichuk drove in five runs and stroked one of the homers wile Oakland native Marcus Semien had four hits, including a homer and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
In his return to face his former teammates, Semien had seven hits in the series. His homecoming began with two losses, and ended with two wins.

“I was happy with the return home,’’ said Semien, whose parents and grand parents were able to see him.

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Manager Charlie Montoyo had Semien in the leadoff hole.”

“He’s a pro,’’ said Montoyo. “If he doesn’t play, he’s mad at me. He’s going to give you all he has.”

Danny Jansen got into the homer act by hitting his first long ball of the season.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went hitless, but it speaks to the depth of the lineup when so many base knocks are produced with none from the team’s biggest bat.

Ryu had a shaky start — serving up a homer to leadoff man Mark Canha on his second pitch of the day. He is known for a lot of things when he’s on the mound, but his velocity isn’t one of them. When his fastball catches too much of the plate, as it did to Canha, it often results in a homer.

But Ryu battled and got stronger, retiring Matt Olson, the final hitter he faced, on a swinging strikeout to end the fifth.

Ryu was making his sixth start of the season and first since April 25 when he left with two outs in the fourth inning against the Rays with a glute strain that landed the savvy southpaw on the 10-day injured list.

“There was nothing wrong with me today,’’ said Ryu, who earned his second win of the season. “The last time, I didn’t feel so good, but it was nothing serious. I felt I didn’t have to worry too much physically. I’m pretty pleased … I felt better later in the game (on Thursday) than early on.”

Montoyo has seen Ryu when his command his off, but his ace finds a way to keep the Jays in games.

“It was the first time he was not sharp at all,’’ said Montoyo. “He did not have much command. When you don’t have command, a lot of guys would crumble. He found a way to keep us in the game.

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“It’s amazing how somebody like that kept us in the game and not have his command.”

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SKINNY ON SPRINGER

GM Ross Atkins was featured during a pre-game Zoom call and not surprisingly was asked about George Springer and his troublesome quad strain that has landed the big-ticket free agent back on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Monday.

For those who have lost track or lost interest in this ongoing saga, Springer has now been placed on the IL three times.

“He’s actually feeling better,’’ said Atkins, who added that Springer is frustrated, which is to be expected. “We’ll determine the timeline as we move forward.”

Springer will require more than 10 days to recover, which is hardly shocking. He will accompany the team to Houston, his former stomping grounds, where Toronto begins a three-game series Friday.

KIRK UPDATE

Atkins believes Alejandro Kirk, the team’s emerging young catcher who injured his hip flexor, will be unavailable for at least four weeks.

“It could be longer,’’ said Atkins, who added the Jays will explore options to improve themselves behind the plate.

QUICK PITCHES

A two-base fielding error with two out in the fifth by Teoscar Hernandez — think Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series — was the first outfield blunder by the Jays this season. Ramon Laureano’s single rolled through Hernandez’s legs and all the way back to the warning track in right, putting the A’s base-runner on third. The A’s, however, couldn’t cash in and Laureano was stranded on Olson’s strikeout … RHP David Phelps (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day IL, a move that allowed the team to activate Ryu … News of the L.A. Angels releasing veteran Albert Pujols resonated throughout baseball. “He was fun to watch,’’ said Montoyo. “I know him pretty well. He’s the ultimate professional. Hopefully, it’s not the end, but if it is he’s a Hall of famer.’’ … Montoyo said Bichette had the green light when he stole third on Wednesday. He stole second Thursday on a running start and easily stole third with two out. He’s swiped six bases this season … The team is awaiting the results of an MRI to infielder Joe Panik (calf). The Jays might have to make a roster move. “We’ll see how he feels (Friday),’’ Montoyo said.

fzicarelli@postmedia.com

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