Watch: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. swats 100th homer, sets Blue Jays record



Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in two runs in a win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday in Toronto. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. not only jumpstarted the Toronto Blue Jays’ most-recent win with a 363-foot blast into the bullpen, he also set a franchise record in the process, as the youngest player to hit 100 career home runs.

Guerrero, 23, crushed the solo shot in the bottom of the first inning of the Blue Jays’ 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday at Rogers Centre in Toronto. He went 1 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Guerrero is now hitting .278 with 28 homers and 84 RBIs this season. The Blue Jays designated hitter ended a 14-game home run drought in the victory.

“Every day that I get here to the field, the clubbies [clubhouse attendants] always remind me, ‘Hey, you need one more to 100. You need one more to 100,'” Guerrero told reporters. “You get a little bit aggressive, I can say that. But I guess that’s part of it.”

Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling retired the Rays in order in the top of the first. Center fielder George Springer led off the bottom of the inning with a fly out to right field. Guerrero then settled into the box to face Rays starter Drew Rasmussen.

Rasmussen dotted the inside bottom corner of the strike zone with a fastball to start the exchange. He then threw another fastball into the same area.

Guerrero sliced his bat into the area and cracked into the ball, sending it 120 feet above the field, according to Statcast. The ball traveled 98 mph off his bat on its way over the left field fence. It then bounced into the Blue Jays bullpen.

Guerrero brought in another Blue Jays run when he grounded into a force out in the bottom of the third. Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette made the score 3-0 with an RBI single in the same inning.

Second baseman Santiago Espinal and left fielder Raimel Tapia drove in two more runs with RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

The Blue Jays carried a five-run lead into the seventh. Right fielder Harold Ramirez drove in the Rays’ lone run in the top of that inning with a 391-foot solo homer.

Espinal went 3 for 3 with an RBI for the Blue Jays. Bichette and catcher Danny Jansen each recorded two hits in the victory. Stripling allowed three hits and one run over 6 and 1/3 innings to improve to 8-4 this season.

The Blue Jays (81-62) will host the Rays (79-63) in the final game of the series at 3:07 p.m. EDT Thursday in Toronto.



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