Jays’ Gurriel has his historic hit streak put on hold by late injury

CHICAGO — The way rookie infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., was hitting, the Blue Jays should have the local fire department on call at all times. His bat was that hot.

Gurriel extended his hitting streak to 11 games in a 7-4 Blue Jays victory over the White Sox on Sunday with three singles — the longest hit streak by a Jay this season. But even more impressive, it was his 11th straight multi-hit game, tying former Cincinnati Reds great Tony Perez (1973) for longest streak in the majors in the past 50 seasons. The MLB record for multi-hit games is 13, set by Rogers Hornsby in 1923. Only Hornsby and Billy Herman (12 games in 1935) have bettered what Gurriel has done this month.

Unfortunately, what turned out to be an historic day for Gurriel included a cruel twist as the 24-year-old hurt himself trying to turn a single into a double in the ninth inning. Instead of sliding into second, he tried to step around the tag and lost his balance as his left knee buckled beneath him. He immediately grabbed his knee and stayed down for a few minutes before being helped off the field by trainers Nikki Huffman and Jose Ministral. According to the Jays, the rookie infielder suffered a left knee contusion and a left ankle sprain. He
will undergo an MRI on Monday when the team arrives in Oakland to face the A’s, at which point it will become clearer how much time he will miss.

“It’s terrible,” said Jays starting pitcher Ryan Borucki. “I’ve played with him (in the minors) for the last three years and he’s such a good — not just a good baseball player — but he’s even a better guy and it was so exciting for him (continuing that streak). Seeing him go down was a big loss but hopefully everything will be OK and he’ll be back soon.”

“I think his ankle is already swelling,” said Jays manager John Gibbons after the game when asked about Gurriel. “It’s unfortunate. He’s up there (with the hitting streak) with some of the big boys.”

Aledmys Diaz and Teoscar Hernandez hit solo home runs for the Jays. Hernandez’s came in the top of the ninth, his 16th of the season, off White Sox reliever Jace Fry to tie the game 3-3. The Jays added four more runs in the inning. Diaz has three homers in as many games against the White Sox in his career.

Borucki was pulled after six innings with the Jays down 2-1.

Other than the eight runs the Jays scored with Borucki on the mound on July 13 in Boston, Toronto hitters have given the rookie starter little offensive support. In five of the six games he has started, his teammates have scored a grand total of three runs. Five of the games he has pitched have been quality starts, including Sunday, but he has yet to get a win.

“It is what it is,” Borucki said. “Stuff happens, it’s baseball and my time will come sooner or later. Just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”

The 24-year-old hails from nearby Mundelein, Ill., and grew up a White Sox fan. He had an estimated 150 friends and family members at Guaranteed Rate Field. And though he didn’t come away with his first ‘W’, his impressive rookie campaign continues.

“I mean it was awesome,” said Borucki. “That first pitch I kind of let loose then I had to settle down a little bit. But I couldn’t have pictured it any better, so many people I saw (while I was) warming up and when I was coming off the mound. And so many people I know from my home town, parents and everything (were here). It was definitely a dream.”

He went six complete, giving up two runs off six hits while walking one and striking out five.

“He’s been doing it all year,” said Gibbons. “Another great start.”

The manager couldn’t help but chuckle when asked about the lack of run support the Jays are giving the rookie.

“He’s been that one guy. Every year there’s always somebody and I guess it’s his turn,” said Gibbons, adding that he wasn’t worried about Borucki getting nervous pitching in front of so many friends and family.

“I just know what kind of guy he is. He’s very professional, he’s a workman, he just goes out there and pitches his game,” said Gibbons. “ I think he’s able to block a lot of things out. You can tell (what he was made of) from Day 1, his first start down in Houston (June 26) against a great lineup.

“But he’s always been one of our prized guys, so it’s no like he came out of nowhere. Finally got his opportunity and he’s running with it.”

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies

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