NEW YORK (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. declared this spring that last year was just the trailer for the upstart Blue Jays. This season would be the feature-length film.
Bloodied by a baserunner’s cleats and forced into the dugout, Guerrero sure looked to manager Charlie Montoyo like a best picture winner.
“Like in the ‘Rocky’ movie,” Montoyo recalled. “‘Cut me, Mick! I’m bleeding!’”
Audiences agree: Guerrero delivered a trilogy worth seeing Wednesday night in the Bronx.
Guerrero shook off a bloody gash on his right ring finger and hit three home runs against the rival Yankees, including two off ace Gerrit Cole, as Toronto beat New York 6-4. He also had a double and slickly gloved a sharp line drive for the game’s final out.
“Add that one to my list,” Guerrero said via translator when asked if it was his most impressive feat yet.
George Springer hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh, and Toronto held off the Yankees despite homers from Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres — and a fly in the eighth by pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton that was caught on the warning track.
Guerrero had a big hand in that.
The AL MVP runner-up homered off Cole in the first inning, had his hand accidentally spiked on a play at first base in the second, then hammered a line-drive, two-run shot against Cole in the third to put Toronto up 3-0.
He doubled off Cole in the sixth — prompting the pitcher to emphatically tip his cap — then launched a 443-foot leadoff homer against Jonathan Loaisiga in the eighth for a 5-3 lead.
“Did you see the night?” Cole said. “If you had a cap, you’d tip it, too. It got better after that, too. My goodness.”
Guerrero got two stitches after the game but said his hand felt fine, although he anticipated some…