Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tries to get to a foul ball with his bat during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, June 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Gurriel slam helps Jays send O’s to 20th straight road loss

Blue Jays 9 Orioles 0

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit his first grand slam in a six-run first inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took over sole possession of the home run lead with his 24th, and the Toronto Blue Jays extended Baltimore’s road losing streak to 20 games by routing the Orioles 9-0 on Thursday night.

Baltimore tied the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics for the second-longest road skid in AL history, trailing only the 22 losses in a row by the 1943 A’s. The Orioles are an AL-worst 23-52, including 11-26 away from home.

The Orioles have lost 14 of their last 15 overall. Combined with Wednesday’s 13-0 defeat to Houston, the franchise has been shut out in consecutive losses of at least nine runs since the St. Louis Browns were swept in a doubleheader 12-0 and 14-0 at Detroit on Sept. 22, 1936.

Toronto has won a season-high five straight, following a five-game losing streak. The Blue Jays improved to 4-5 at Sahlen Field, the home of their Triple-A team, after going 10-11 at TD Ballpark, their spring training ballpark. They are 24-19 on the road.

Anthony Kay (1-2) and four relievers combined on a seven-hitter, the fifth shutout for Blue Jays pitchers this season and the sixth time the Orioles were blanked. Making his fifth start this season, Kay allowed five hits in five innings, walked two and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. His first seven outs were on strikeouts.

Dean Kremer (0-7) gave up six runs, two hits and a career-high five walks while getting just one out, his fewest in 16 career big league starts. The 25-year-old right-hander’s season ERA rose to 7.25.

Kremer threw 19 pitches to his first three batters, walking all three on full counts. Teoscar Hernández hit a go-ahead single, Randal Grichuk had an RBI grounder, Kremer forced a run with a full-count walk to Cavan Biggio and Gurriel hit the next pitch, a belt-high cutter, to left for his 11th homer this season.

Joe Panik walked, and Kremer was pulled after 39 pitches, just 17 of them strikes.

Guerrero homered in the third off Adam Plutko and moved one ahead of Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels

Reese McGuire had three hits for Toronto.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP John Means (shoulder) began playing catch, and Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde expects Means to return shortly after the All-Star break.

Blue Jays: LHP Steven Matz (COVID-19) has been cleared to join the team and threw 50-60 pitches before the game. Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said there was a good chance Matz would start against Seattle when the Mariners visit Buffalo next Tuesday-Thursday. … OF George Springer (quadriceps strain) sat out after playing the previous two games in Miami this week. “He’s 100% healthy but not 100% built up,” Montoyo said.

UP NEXT

Friday’s second game of the four-game weekend series will feature Orioles RHP Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.80 ERA) against Toronto rookie RHP Alek Manoah (1-0, 4.18). Manoah was ejected from his last start on Saturday at Baltimore upon hitting Maikel Franco with a pitch after allowing back-to-back home runs. Harvey is 0-8 with with an 11.49 ERA in his last nine starts.