Toronto Blue Jays: Young guns step up against New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. /

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez managed three RBIs apiece on Friday night, to help the Toronto Blue Jays top the New York Yankees.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has certainly given Toronto Blue Jays fans a lot to talk about over the past 24 hours.

After it was announced that the Cuban prospect would join the team from double-A New Hampshire, it was also announced that the utility infielder would be making his major-league debut at second base in the Bronx, against the New York Yankees.

As if the pressure wasn’t already firmly on the shoulders of Gurriel, his older brother Yuli gave his thoughts on his brother’s debut prior to first pitch.

While Gurriel stole many of the headlines on Friday night, it was his teammate Teoscar Hernandez who opened the scoring for the Jays.

Already down 2-0 in the top of the third, the Blue Jays’ left fielder stepped up and belted his second home-run of the season to left-centre field to knot the game up.

Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the Yankees had an answer in the form of Giancarlo Stanton, who drilled a two-run shot into the right-field bleachers to double New York’s lead.

However, it was then Gurriel Jr’s turn to make some magic. In the top of the fourth, the callup knocked the ball through the middle of the infield past Didi Gregorius, to drive in both Kendrys Morales and Kevin Pillar to tie the contest again.

He wasn’t done there though. Just an inning later, Gurriel Jr. was up again. He managed to shoot a ball through the right side of the infield, which allowed Russell Martin to come in and score.

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With that hit, Gurriel Jr. became the ninth player in Blue Jays history to have a multi-RBI game in his debut, and only the fourth Jay with at least two hits and 3 RBIs in their first game.

On top of that, he now only sits one RBI back of his brother’s total on the year.

Hernandez would manage to match his teammate’s RBI total just minutes later after working a long at-bat, which eventually resulted in a bases-loaded walk to bring in the Jays’ seventh run of the game.

Yangervis Solarte would put a final bow on the evening in the sixth inning, when he hit a no-doubter to give Toronto a three-run lead.

From there, the bullpen did their job to silence the Bronx bombers and give the Blue Jays the 8-5 win and even the series at 1-1.

Following the game, Gurriel Jr. was interviewed by Hazel Mae. With help from Jays translator Josue Peley, he spoke about his excitement to make his debut.

"“I just feel like it’s my first time in an amusement park. This just feels amazing, it’s awesome. I’m happy that the Blue Jays gave me this opportunity, and I’m happy the team had the win today.”"

Gurriel Jr. also revelled at the moment during his first hit, where he drove in a fellow Cuban in Morales.

"“It’s a moment I will never forget in my life. I know when (Morales) was at third, he looked at me, and gave me a little cheer up so I was a little more pumped to go out there in that at-bat.”"

Next: Jays getting contributions from unlikely sources

The third game of the series goes on Saturday at 1:05, when the Blue Jays will be looking to get a least a split with a victory.