Belt hits 2 of Blue Jays' 5 home runs off Hunter Greene in 10-3 rout of Reds

Hunter Greene Luke Maile
Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 20, 2023

CINCINNATI (AP) — Brandon Belt had his second multihomer game this season, Hyun Jin Ryu won consecutive starts for the first time since his latest Tommy John surgery and Toronto Blue Jays routed the Cincinnati Reds 10-3 Sunday to win the series between playoff contenders.

Kevin Kiermaier and Belt hit two-run homers in the second inning, and Bo Bichette, Belt and George Springer had solo shots in the fourth. Belt also homered twice against Boston on July 2 and has 10 two-homer games in his big league career.

Hunter Greene (2-5), who made his first start since June 17 after a stint on the injured list caused by right hip pain, gave up career highs of nine runs and 10 hits and tied his career high by allowing five home runs. He also gave up five at Milwaukee on May 5 last year.

“Obviously, today was frustrating,” Greene said. “Not what I envisioned coming back.”

Bichette homered for the first time since July 25. He was activated Saturday after being sidelined with right knee patellar tendonitis. He also tripled and scored in the first inning.

“Bo being gone for two weeks — triple, homer, kind of instant offense,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Kind of typical Bo with a opposite field homer. I think that’s really good for those guys.”

Ryu, a 36-year-old left-hander in the final season of an $80 million, four-year contract, allowed two runs and four hits in five innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. He made his season debut on Aug. 1 after recovering from his second Tommy John surgery in June 2022.

“I thought they were going to be really aggressive, so I went to get ahead in counts, and it was a key point in my game that I was able to do that,” Ryu said through a translator. “Our team was able to get up some runs.”

Bowden Francis allowed one run and two hits over three innings for his first professional save.

Tyler Stephenson homered for Cincinnati.

The game got messy for the Reds early. After Bichette tripled in the first, he scored on an error by Reds second baseman Matt McLain.

Danny Jansen doubled, and Kiermaier’s shot to right made it 3-0 in the second. A double by Whit Merrifield set up Belt’s two-run blast. Then came the fourth-inning barrage that chased Greene.

It was the 12th time in which a Reds pitcher allowed five homers.

Cincinnati scored two on an error in the second, and Tyler Stephenson homered in the seventh.


Reds top prospect Noelvi Marti, called up from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday, started at third base and went 1 for 4 with his first major league hit, a ninth-inning double through the right side. He joined rookies Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer in the starting lineup.


Blue Jays: 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left after 3 1/2 innings with discomfort in his left middle finger. ... Springer was back in the lineup after jamming his left heal beating out a double-play ball against the Phillies on Wednesday.

Reds: OF Stuart Fairchild left after two innings and went into concussion protocol. ... The rehabilitation assignment of LHP Nick Lodolo (stress reaction, left tibia) was transferred from Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Louisville. ... TeJay Antone (Tommy John surgery) agreed to extend his rehab assignment at Louisville 10 days. He could return to the team later this month. ... OF Jake Fraley (stress fracture of toe) says he will try to play again this season without surgery.


Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (9-4, 3.44) starts Tuesday at Baltimore.

Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (6-8, 4.89 ERA, 90 Ks) starts Tuesday's opener of a 10-game trip at tge Los Angeles Angels and RHP Lucas Giolito (7-9, 4.44 ERA, 150 Ks).