Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gestures as he runs home...

Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gestures as he runs home on his third home run against the New York Yankees in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

If you think this is bad, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could have said of his impaled, bloodied hand, you should see the other guy.

Guerrero, who got his finger spiked when Aaron Hicks trampled it legging out an infield single in the second, got the ultimate payback Wednesday night, hitting three home runs – two off starter Gerrit Cole and a third off Wandy Peralta – as he went 4-for-4 with four RBIs for the Blue Jays, who defeated the Yankees, 6-4 at the Stadium. It was the second three home run game of his career.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have dropped three of their last four.

“He’s just a great hitter,” Aaron Boone said. “It was just otherworldly hitting, you know? The (second) homer he hit, I think was in off the plate…Pretty impressive display by him and we got beat by obviously a great hitter tonight.”  

What’s more, while Guerrero provided the bulk of the offense, it was reviled Yankees nemesis and former Astro George Springer who broke a tie in the seventh.

Tied at 3 in the top of the inning with runners on first and second, Jonathan Loaisiga induced what should have been an inning-ending double play. Gleyber Torres, though, had trouble with the transfer at second, throwing it high to extend the inning. Then, with chants of “cheater” reverberating through the stadium, Springer singled to left to drive in a run.

The run was charged to Chad Green, who started the inning, and, at that point, was only the fourth run allowed by the bullpen in 28 1/3 innings. That was before Peralta gave up Guerrero’s third homer, a solo shot, to lead off the eighth. Matt Chapman added an RBI single later in the inning.

Torres hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot in the eighth, to draw the Yankees to within 6-4. Hicks then hit a two-out single to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton, who gave Trevor Richards’ fastball a long ride to left before it died on the warning track.

In all, the game was another example of an already mercurial season.

Though it wasn’t the three first-inning runs he gave up Opening Day, Cole didn’t get out of the first unscathed Wednesday night, either. With two outs, he threw a slider that got too much of the plate to Guerrero, who promptly pummeled it 416 feet to straightaway centerfield. Hicks was able to leap and get a hand on it at the wall, but it popped out of his glove for the solo home run.

Guerrero only further added to his mythos after that. With two outs in the second, the throw on Hicks’ infield single went wide at first. Guerrero stretched to make the pick, putting his right hand on the dirt for balance, but it was stomped by Hicks. Despite profuse bleeding, Guerrero got patched up and stayed in the game and then, a half inning later, he got around on Cole’s 98-mph fastball and drove it 427 feet to the visitors’ bullpen in left for the two-run homer and the 3-0 lead.

“Wow, that was impressive tonight,” Aaron Judge said. “I wish it was against somebody else so I could watch it on TV.”

The Yankees didn’t get a runner in scoring position until the fourth, when Joey Gallo led off with a walk off Jose Berrios. LeMahieu singled to put Gallo on second, but the next three batters were retired in order.

But whatever the Yankees lacked in situational hitting, they made up in raw power in the fifth. With one out, Anthony Rizzo and Judge hit back-to-back solo home runs – Rizzo’s third and Judge’s first. Josh Donaldson doubled and tagged up on Gallo’s long out to the deepest part of the ballpark. Then, finally, the Yankees got a two-out hit with runners in scoring position, their first of the year: LeMahieu doubled to right to tie the game at 3. The Yankees came into the game 6-for-34 with runners in scoring position this season.

Cole, meanwhile, managed to settle down after Guerrero’s third-inning homer, retiring the next eight before allowing another hit to Guerrero, this time a one-out double with one out in the sixth – something that motivated Cole to literally tip his cap. Cole allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings; he threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes – a significantly built-up workload from the 68 pitches he threw on Opening Day.

“I mean, did you see the night?” Cole said of his salute. “If you had a cap, you’d tip it too.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went deep three times Wednesday night and none of them were cheapies. They totaled 1,286 feet:

First inning, solo, centerfield, 416 feet

Third inning, two-run, left-center, 428 feet

Eighth inning, solo, leftfield, 443 feet

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