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Blue Jays spectacular in emotional Toronto opener

Whipped up by highly emotional pre-game ceremonies, the crowd of 45,022 spectators was disappointed by the Jays from the outset. Starting pitcher José Berríos had such a false start that he was sent to the showers before the end of the first inning. He gave up four points to the Rangers who went on to own a seven-point lead over the Blue Jays afterwards.

But, faithful to the reputation they made last year, the representatives of the Queen City did not give up.

Launched by a single hit from Danny Jansen in the third inning, the Blue Jays quietly closed the gap. Teoscar Hernández enlivened the crowd gathered in the downtown Toronto stadium with a resounding three-run homer in the fifth inning to complete the comeback.

Hernández returned to the charge in the seventh inning, sliding home plate thanks to a double from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The official first ruled he was taken out, then his decision was overturned on video replay. And when the official in question announced to the crowd the player is safe, one would have thought that the ceiling of the Rogers Center could have jumped so much she got carried away. She was jubilant.

There is not a player in this team who will forget what happened todayHernández said after the game. It feels good to be back like this!

The Toronto team had not had the opportunity to begin its campaign in front of its supporters in Canada since 2019 due to the pandemic. Players hadn’t experienced a full house since either. Capacity at the Rogers Center was limited when they returned home in July and remained so until the end of their season.

To mark the occasion on their return home, we can say that the Blue Jays hit the bullseye. Moreover, not only did they win, but they wrote several pages of history along the way. With the win, the Jays earned their first home opener in Canada since 2011. Their seven-point comeback also ranks among the three biggest ever in major league baseball history. an opening game.

As a result, manager Charlie Montoyo was overjoyed at his post-game press conference. The latter also specified that it was the craziest opening match he had ever seen. With so many more people? Certainly.

And the main interested party clarified that at no time during the match, he lost hope in his men.

I knew that if we could stop them, our attack would give us a chance as it always will. All it took was what Danny Jansen did. This small (safe) knock allowed the guys to calm down. And then you know the resthe said. The experience was amazing.

Montoyo said that all (his) team was nervous at the start. Obviously, that was to be expected with so many people (in the stands). We wanted to give them a good show and then we calmed down and got back into the game!

This is also why he did not make a case after the match about the disappointing exit of José Berríos. The latter retired only one of the seven batters he faced, giving up four hits and two walks.

The Blue Jays meet the Rangers on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively. Kevin Gausman and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the starting pitchers for those games.

Spectacular entrance

The Blue Jays kicked off their season at the Rogers Center for the first time since 2019.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette

The Blue Jays organization invested a lot of money during the off-season to renew certain facilities at the Rogers Center. A new giant screen and a state-of-the-art lighting system were part of these improvements and they were put to good use on Friday during spectacular pre-match ceremonies.

The old Blue Jays stadium lighting system only lit white and the lights could not be turned off and on quickly, which had a huge impact on the quality of the show.

On Friday, the fan experience was much more immersive than in the past thanks to a great color scheme. The giant screen, which is also connected to other screens that circle the stadium, has also been much better used to energize the atmosphere.

Also prior to the game, the Blue Jays presented Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández and Marcus Semien, now a Rangers player, with their Silver Stick won last year. Guerrero also received the Hank-Aaron Trophy from the famous player’s widow.

Several Canadian medalists from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing were also honored before the start of hostilities. Isabelle Weidemann, Laurent Dubreuil, Mikaël Kingsbury and Marie-Philip Poulin were present, among others.

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