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Danny Jansen leads Blue Jays to 9-3 win over White Sox in series opener

Danny Jansen (9) hits an RBI double during third inning MLB baseball action against the Chicago White Sox, in Toronto, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press) Danny Jansen (9) hits an RBI double during third inning MLB baseball action against the Chicago White Sox, in Toronto, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)
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TORONTO -

Danny Jansen was celebrating the beginning of his Victoria Day with a pancake breakfast when he found out he would be hitting second in the Toronto Blue Jays batting order for the first time in his career.

The catcher responded with a three-hit, five-RBI outing that included a two-run, seventh-inning homer in the Blue Jays 9-3 win against the Chicago White Sox 9-3 in the three-game series opener on Monday.

"Wherever I am in the lineup, I'm just trying to do my part and put some good swings up," said Jansen, the only Blue Jays regular with an average above .300 at .333.

“Anyway I can help the team."

Besides his fifth homer, Jansen knocked in a run in the second with a double to right-centre field and later scored. He also scored two more runs in the eighth with a hard-hit single.

"He's having good at-bats, hitting the ball hard," Toronto manager John Schneider said. "It worked out well today."

Daulton Varsho also smacked a two-run homer as the Blue Jays (21-25) won back-to-back games for the first time since April 28-29 but remained in last place in the American League East Division.

The White Sox (14-34), last in the AL Central Division, dropped their fourth in a row.

Jose Berrios (5-3) plucked his first win since winning his fourth game on April 20. His six-inning, 100-pitch performance yielded three runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Schneider stated before the game that Berrios has become more of a leader this season. The right-hander confirmed he spoke up after the Blue Jays playoff disappointment in Minnesota last fall.

"I'm more vocal now," Berrios said. "Because I spoke out, you also have to go out and show it."

White Sox starter Erick Fedde (4-1) lost for the first time this season. He yielded five runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings.

The White Sox snatched a 1-0 advantage in the second inning. Paul DeJong, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, singled with two out and stole second base.

Korey Lee knocked in his teammate with a bloop single to centre.

The Blue Jays scored twice in their half of the inning and added two more in the third. Varsho belted his eighth home run, a two-run blast to right-centre.

In the third inning, Jansen doubled home Kevin Kiermaier, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. knocked in Jansen with a single to right.

Chicago reduced its deficit to 4-2 in the fourth inning. Gavin Sheets led off the frame with a double to right after George Springer dove and missed the ball in front of him. Sheets scored on a DeJong single.

Toronto restored its three-run lead in the sixth inning before 36,933 with the roof open at Rogers Centre. Guerrero led off with a walk and scored on Bo Bichette's hard-hit double to centre field.

Bichette went 4-for-4 in the Blue Jays' 12-hit attack.

Berrios's game ended after he surrendered a leadoff homer to DeJong in the seventh and walked the next batter. Yimi Garcia set down the next three White Sox batters.

Jansen smashed his fifth homer off reliever Jordan Leasure, a two-run shot with two out to left field in the seventh inning, and supplied a two-run single in the eighth.

Rehab report

Schneider was pleased with the progress of injured pitchers Chad Green (right shoulder) and Bowden Francis (right forearm) with triple-A Buffalo.

Both expect to pitch again on Wednesday. If they don't experience setbacks, they could return to the Blue Jays later in the week.

On deck

Lefty Yusei Kikuchi (2-3) will start for the Blue Jays in the middle of the three-game series with the White Sox on Tuesday evening. Southpaw Garrett Crochet (4-4) will take the mound for Chicago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2024

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