Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) throws to first base to get the out on Oakland Athletics third baseman Sheldon Neuse (26) during second inning American League action in Toronto on Friday. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) throws to first base to get the out on Oakland Athletics third baseman Sheldon Neuse (26) during second inning American League action in Toronto on Friday. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

Guerrero Jr. hits solo homer, Blue Jays top Athletics

Blue Jays 4 Athletics 1

TORONTO — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., hit a solo homer and starter Ross Stripling threw four shutout innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Friday night at Rogers Centre.

Guerrero opened the scoring by belting a 2-2 pitch from Oakland starter Daulton Jefferies (0-1) in the first inning. The Toronto slugger, who also singled and reached on a walk, leads the major leagues with five homers on the season.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Raimel Tapia and Zack Collins also had two hits apiece as the Blue Jays (5-3) took the opener of the three-game series.

Closer Jordan Romano worked a clean ninth inning for his fifth save in five chances.

Tapia gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second inning when he scored from first base on a Santiago Espinal double to the left-field corner. The speedy Tapia easily beat the throw home with a head-first slide.

Stripling retired the first seven Athletics in order before giving up a double to Kevin Smith. A groundout and lineout left him stranded.

Oakland pinch-hitter Chad Pinder drove in the Athletics’ only run in the sixth inning.

Tim Mayza gave up a pair of singles before being replaced by Adam Cimber (3-0) with one out. Pinder greeted the sidearmer with a single that scored Tony Kemp.

Pinder later stole second to put two runners in scoring position but Cimber got Seth Brown on a pop-up to end the threat.

The Blue Jays tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame. Espinal was intentionally walked ahead of Collins, who singled to plate Gurriel from third.

Gurriel was at it again in the seventh when he drove in George Springer, who led off the inning with a double.

Stripling allowed two hits, had three strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter. The right-hander, who was on a pitch count, threw 40 of his 62 pitches for strikes.

Jefferies, meanwhile, gave up two earned runs, seven hits, a walk and struck out a pair over 4 1/3 innings.

Toronto out-hit Oakland 11-6. Announced attendance was 35,415 and the game took three hours to play.

ON DECK

Toronto left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (0-0, 16.20 ERA) makes his second start of the season for the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. The Athletics will turn to right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-0, 0.00).

Ryu was tagged for six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in a 12-6 loss to the Texas Rangers last weekend.

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