TORONTO (AP)The Toronto Blue Jays combined pitching and power to start interim manager John Schneider off with a win.
Teoscar Hernandez hit a pair of two-run home runs, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also connected and the Blue Jays won their first game after firing manager Charlie Montoyo, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 Wednesday night.
Ross Stripling (5-3) allowed two runs in seven innings to halt a three-start winless streak as the Blue Jays won back-to-back games for the first time since June 30 and July 1 against Tampa Bay. Toronto went 1-9 in between.
The Blue Jays swept a two-game series, taking the finale in Schneider’s first game in charge. He will skipper the team the rest of the season.
”It was an awesome game, obviously,” Schneider said. ”For me, personally, this is about as cool as it gets.”
Hernandez homered off Zack Wheeler in the fourth and went deep off Bubby Rossman in the eighth for his 13th career multihomer game. The homers were his 10th and 11th of the season.
Schneider was promoted from bench coach after the Blue Jays made Montoyo the third big league manager to be fired this season. The Los Angeles Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin on June 7, four days after Philadelphia fired Joe Girardi in favor of Rob Thomson.
Speaking through a translator, Guerrero said he was ”very emotional” about Montoyo’s departure.
”I’m not going to lie, it caught me by surprise,” Guerrero said.
Bryson Stott homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, but the slumping Phillies lost their fourth straight.
Stott’s homer was the only blemish for Stripling, who allowed two hits, walked none and struck out six.
”You want to get the John Schneider dynasty off to a good start, right?” Stripling said.
Stripling has a 2.13 ERA in eight starts since replacing the injured Hyun Jin Ryu in Toronto’s rotation.
”He’s been a stabilizing force since Ryu has been out,” Schneider said. ”He was dialed in from the start.”
Tim Mayza worked the eighth and Trevor Richards struck out the side in the ninth.
Wheeler (8-5) allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings to lose for the first time since June 22 at Texas.
”They worked him pretty hard,” Thomson said. ”He started out really good, he was throwing the ball well, just started missing locations.”
The right-hander entered on a scoreless streak of 17 1/3 innings and kept Toronto silent until the third, when Raimel Tapia snapped Wheeler’s run with an RBI fielder’s choice.
Guerrero went deep on an awkward, one-handed swing on a Wheeler slider to begin the fourth, his 20th, and shrugged about the improbable homer when he returned to the dugout.
”You’ve got to expand with him, get off the plate, because he’ll do just that,” Wheeler said. ”He has the power just to basically touch the ball and it’s going to go.”
Hernandez followed Alejandro Kirk’s single with a drive that bounced off the top of the center field wall and went out.
Bo Bichette singled home a run in the fifth and Guerrero added a sacrifice fly as Wheeler gave up the most runs he’d allowed since Miami scored seven against him on April 17.
Toronto’s Santiago Espinal fouled off seven consecutive pitches, and 10 in all, before striking out swinging on the 15th pitch of his fourth-inning at bat against Wheeler.
Wearing a pinstripe dress with a Blue Jays logo on the front, three-year-old Sadie Gausman threw the ceremonial first pitch to her dad, right-hander Kevin Gausman.
”(Phillies president) Dave (Dombrowski) just said I’m the longest-tenured manager on the field today,” Thomson joked before the game. ”I feel old.”
Phillies: LHP Ranger Suarez (back) threw a bullpen session before the game and is likely to be activated off the IL to start Saturday against the Marlins, Thomson said.
Philadelphia added Rossman and INF Will Toffey from Triple-A Lehigh Valley as substitute players, and optioned RHP Michael Kelly to Triple-A.
Rossman, a former independent league pitcher, did not realize he needed to put the PitchCom receiver in his ear when he came on in the eighth. Several players and umpires came to the mound, pointing toward his ear piece on the ground and showing him how to place it in his hat. The PitchCom system is not used in the minor leagues.
Phillies: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.53) starts Friday as Philadelphia begins a three-game series at Miami. The Marlins have not named a starter.
Blue Jays: Gausman will start Thursday against Kansas City. Gausman left a July 2 start against Tampa Bay after two innings when he was hit on the right ankle by a Wander Franco liner. The Royals have not named a starter for Thursday.
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