PITTSBURGH – Teoscar Hernandez broke the tie in the seventh inning with a single when the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game streak.
Hernandez slammed a shot from the field to center of the field against Duane Underwood Jr. (1-5) after two eliminations to give the Blue Jays the lead. Rescuers did the rest.
Underwood, the losing pitcher on Saturday night, had a tough second straight outing.
Danny Jansen and Matt Chapman opened the seventh with singles. Underwood forced Vladimir Guerrero Jr. into a double game, but Hernandez followed suit with his timely strike.
The Blue Jays (73-59) maintained their position in third place in the American League draft club rankings, the last to give access to the playoffs.
The Blue Jays begin a four-game streak Monday at Camden Yards against the surprising Baltimore Orioles, who are chasing them for a playoff spot. The two teams will face each other in a doubleheader which kicks off on Monday at 13:05.
The Maryland group are two and a half games away from the Jays.
Hernandez and Christian Kirk have had two wins each for the Blue Jays, winners of five of their last six games and 12 of their last 17 fights.
In the win, Cavan Biggio scored his fifth homer of the season and his second in five days.
Ross Stripling (7-4) conceded three points on two hits and three walks in six innings. He also had eight strikeouts.
In Stripling’s last seven starts, a streak that began on July 13, the Blue Jays are 6-1.
In the lower part of the ninth inning, the Pirates placed runners on second and third bases with no eliminations against Jordan Romano. The Blue Jays stopper rebounded and knocked out the next three hitters to earn his 30th save.
“This guy is a beast on the mound,” said Blue Jays manager John Schneider. There aren’t many who can stay focused as much as he can. “
Toronto is 12-5 lately.
“Winning isn’t easy in the major leagues,” said Schneider. When you manage to gain some momentum just before a big streak, that’s good. “
Debut shortstop Oneil Cruz scored his 12th homer of the season for the Pirates after a fifth inning for a 3-3 draw. One inning earlier, Josh VanMeter led in two spots with a double, but the Pirates generated a small attack beyond that.
Guaranteed to experience a fourth consecutive season of defeats, the Pirates have suffered a fourth consecutive defeat and are 11-34 in their last 45 outings.
“We have to find a way to make contact,” manager Derek Shelton said, particularly regarding the ninth inning. I know that Romano is very good, but we have to give ourselves a chance and we didn’t. “