MILWAUKEE (AP) — Alejandro Kirk didn’t even need to play a full game to continue cementing his status as one of baseball’s best hitting catchers.
Kirk went 4 for 4 and homered for the third straight game before leaving with a bruised left hand in the seventh inning of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
He appeared to get hit in the hand on a backswing from Jonathan Davis in the seventh. The 23-year-old Kirk remained in the game for the rest of that at-bat before leaving at the same time the Blue Jays made a pitching change. He underwent precautionary X-rays that came back negative.
“I can flex it,” Kirk said through an interpreter. “It’s a little sore, a little uncomfortable right now, but hopefully tomorrow it feels a little better.”
Kirk’s big night represented the latest chapter in his breakthrough season. He is hitting .321 with nine homers, 28 RBIs, a .406 on-base percentage and .913 OPS.
“How do you pitch to him?” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He can hit the ball inside. He doesn’t chase bad pitches. He’s always ahead in the count and he can go the other way. He’s doing what it takes to be one of the best hitters in baseball.”
Kirk led an all-around quality performance by the Blue Jays.
Alek Manoah (9-2) pitched 6 2/3 strong innings, Cavan Biggio homered and Matt Chapman delivered a bases-loaded double as Toronto won the first meeting between the teams since 2017.
Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor homered for the second consecutive game and Christian Yelich drove in two runs.
Manoah struck out six and allowed five hits, three walks and two runs to bounce back after giving up a season-high four runs in a 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday. He threw a…