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Blue Jays bats break out in blowout win over the Cards

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ST. LOUIS — There are periods of drought that we can foresee, others that we can dread and still others that have no explanation.

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Put what’s happened to the Blue Jays over the past few weeks in that last category.

So with a late-night flight pending and a mouth-watering California day off at the other end, what happened in Round 4 on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium was a welcome, if belated, development. for the team in offensive difficulty.

When Jays catcher Danny Jansen threw a ball from the left-field foul post, the resulting three-run homer not only released the shackles of a slump, but ended a remarkable streak. for the happy slugger team.

Jansen’s fourth homer of the season was the team’s first with more than one runner on base since April 29.

Combined with another stellar starting pitching effort from Kevin Gausman, it also propelled the Jays to an 8-1 win over the Cards, allowing them to split the two-game series against an interleague opponent.

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Jansen’s outburst, his fourth of the season, opened up a four-point lead for the Jays, a rare production given that in their previous six games they had scored three or less.

And for good measure, the suddenly hard-hitting receiver added a second over the fence, a solo explosion in the seventh to make it five on the year in just 11 games. Considering Jansen only had 11 in 70 games last season, the production is encouraging.

Perhaps the best part for the struggling Jays was that Jansen’s belt still unlocked the offense as the Jays hitters added three more runs, in the sixth, the first two coming on a George Springer triple .

Then came the long-awaited return of Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s long-ball action. When the Jays first baseman threw a towering 438-foot homer to center, it was his eighth of the season but the first in 16 games. .

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It couldn’t have rained on a drier place for a Jays offense that had only scored more points in its previous 21 games. The final margin was their biggest of the season, another potential confidence boost, as their record improved to 23-20.

The problems had been more visible on the road where manager Charlie Montoyo had lost eight of their previous 10.

“I think everyone is pressing at the same time,” Montoyo said before the game. “When your team presses, everyone tries harder and even harder with runners in scoring position.

“And that’s what’s happening with us right now.”

For one night, however, the seal was broken in a resounding victory that was welcome on many levels. After starter Gausman delivered six shutout innings, the bullpen was given a well-deserved break.

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From the start, Montoyo and the Jays argued the bats would burst at some point and maybe that was the start.

It would certainly have made for a pleasant overnight flight to California where the Jays will enjoy a day off Wednesday before a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

HAPPY FOR VLAD

Guerrero’s struggles have been well documented and have surely tested his patience.

His home run on Tuesday tied him at Springer for the team lead at eight, but it was his first since May 5 at Cleveland. In other words, it’s been a long month for the great first baseman.

“Every time Vladdy gets going, he’s going to get going,” Montoyo said. “The one thing about him, for being a young man, he stays very balanced and that’s not easy to do.”

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Going into Tuesday’s game, Guerrero was tied for 16th in home runs among American League hitters. And that from a guy who hit 48 last season, tied for the most at the majors.

DREAMS OF DREAMS

Watching the defensive work in the hot corner over the past few days has been a treat with two of the best in the business.

What makes the story even bigger, however, is that Matt Chapman of the Jays and Nolan Arenado of the Cards were teammates at El Toro High in Lake Forest, Calif., in 2009.

Between them, the pair have won several Gold Gloves in their positions and continue to dazzle.

“It’s fun to watch them both,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “If you like baseball…it’s not that easy to do what they do, but they make it look easy.”

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Of course, the pair had a moment in round six on Tuesday when Arenado surged to catch a line drive from his former teammate.

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AROUND THE BASES

With the score breaking, the Jays easily cashed in as road favorites, but also topped the total of seven for the second night in a row…Gausman allowed four hits in his six innings, walking two while removing eight. Improving to 4-3 this season, the right-hander has lowered his ERA to a nifty 2.25… Monday’s loss – in the 10th-inning Grand Slam by the Cards’ Paul Goldschmidt – was the Jays’ third loss of the season. It also pushed the Jays’ record to 3-7 in games decided in the batting final… With the win, the Jays improved to 3-2 in interleague play… As much as the offense struggled, the Jays have been strong defensively. In Monday’s first of two here, the Jays made four double plays, tied for their most in a game since 2012. The Jays’ roster percentage of .989 (entering Tuesday’s action) was at tied with Royals for top AL rating.

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