TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays took full advantage of a new opponent in town and turned their tough stretch around.
Randal Grichuk hit a three-run homer, Teoscar Hernandez added a solo shot and the Blue Jays snapped a season-worst, five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Grichuk’s two-out blast in the first inning was his sixth of the season and came off starter Dylan Covey (0-2). The homer gave the Blue Jays more runs with one swing than they scored in a three straight losses to Minnesota earlier this week. Toronto was shut out in the first two games and lost 9-1 in Wednesday’s series finale.
“I think the off day was big for us,” Toronto’s Justin Smoak said, referring to Thursday’s break in the schedule. “Minnesota are the hottest team in baseball right now, so it was a tough series. We really had nothing going against them. To get a couple of big home runs tonight and get runs early, that always helps.”
The sweep at the hands of the Twins gave the Blue Jays eight losses in nine games.
“To get them out of town was a good feeling, and get somebody else up there,” reliever Daniel Hudson said. “It was a big win for the team tonight, for sure.”
Hernandez added a leadoff homer in the second inning, his third of the season. Hernandez hadn’t homered since April 18, at Minnesota.
Covey allowed four runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was upset at himself for walking Smoak and Rowdy Tellez before Grichuk’s drive.
“I’m OK with giving up a solo home run here and there, but I’ve got to cut back on those two-out walks,” Covey said. “Different ball game if those guys aren’t on when they hit the homer.”
Toronto’s scheduled starter, right-hander Clay Buchholz, was scratched and placed on the 10-day injured list because of a sore shoulder. Right-hander Daniel Hudson opened for Toronto, the first time this season the Blue Jays used an opener.
Hudson allowed a run in the first on back-to-back doubles by Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu.
Chicago’s Tim Anderson hit a solo homer off Sam Gaviglio in the fifth, and the White Sox cut it to 4-3 on Leurys Garcia’s RBI groundout in the seventh.
Joe Biagini (2-1) came on and struck out Moncada for the final out of the seventh, stranding a runner at third. Biagini pitched the eighth before Ken Giles got Charlie Tilson on a fly ball to the warning track for the final out for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Giles retired the side in order for the fifth straight appearance and reached 100 saves for his career.
“That’s definitely very special to me to get that number,” Giles said.
Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero batted second, the highest he has hit in the order since his promotion to the majors. Guerrero grounded into a double play in the first, grounded out in the third, fouled out in the fifth and flied out in the seventh. The hitless performance dropped his average to .146.