Guerrero Jr. belts MLB-leading 16th home run as Blue Jays beat Yankees

Steven Matz returned to New York with his finest outing in two years, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his major league-leading 16th home run and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 6-2 Tuesday night.

Corey Kluber, making his first start after pitching a no-hitter for the Yankees, had his outing cut short by shoulder tightness. The team said the two-time Cy Young Award winner will have a MRI.

Toronto stopped its six-game losing streak and the Yankees’ six-game winning streak, improving to 5-2 against New York this season.

Bo Bichette reached on an infield single with one out in the third for the first hit off Kluber, a 35-year-old right-hander who pitched his first no-hitter at Texas last Wednesday. Guerrero followed with a drive into the right-field bullpen, giving him 41 RBIs.

Kluber (4-3) was replaced by Michael King at the start of the fourth inning.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered in the fourth and shortstop Gleyber Torres made a two-run throwing error that extended the lead to 5-0 in the seventh. Randal Grichuk homered against Justin Wilson in the ninth, his 16th against the Yankees since 2018.

Matz (6-2), a 29-year-old left-hander from Stony Brook, New York, won 11 games for the Mets in 2019 but faltered to an 0-5 record and 9.68 ERA last year. The Mets traded him to Toronto in January with a 36-43 record in seven seasons in Queens.

He gave up six hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out 10 and walked none. New York didn’t advance a runner past first until the seventh inning, when Clint Frazier doubled and Kyle Higashioka followed with an RBI single on Matz’s 112th and final pitch — his most since June 2019.

Matz reached 96.4 mph, up from an average of 94.7 mph for his fastball coming in.

Toronto’s bullpen took four of the six losses during the slide, with a 7.25 ERA, yet held this time. Tyler Chatwood walked Brett Gardner but retired Luke Voit on a soft comebacker, then pitched around another walk in the eighth. Jordan Romano gave up an unearned run in the ninth.

New York starters had pitched 37 consecutive scoreless innings before the third, when Bichette grounded to the shortstop hole and beat the throw from Torres, who was standing a few steps into left field. Guerrero then homered on a flat cutter.

Kluber threw 58 pitches, walked three and struck out five. His fastball velocity dropped from mostly 91-93 mph in the first two innings to 89-91 mph in the third.

Kluber’s 2019 season ended for Cleveland that May 1 when he was hit on the forearm by a comebacker, and his debut for Texas in 2020 lasted just one inning before he tore a muscle in his right shoulder on July 26.

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