Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still swinging them out of the park…
The 24-year-old Canadian-Dominican professional baseball first baseman and Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter’s Home Run Derby continued on Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Brandon Belt drove in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, Matt Chapman had three hits and an RBI and Whit Merrifield drove in two runs as the Blue Jays won 7-2 to move to 17-7 against National League opponents.
Guerrero won the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby in Seattle on Monday night, matching his father Vladimir Guerrero Sr.‘s 2007 title to become the first father-son duo to accomplish the feat. The younger Guerrero is also the first Blue Jays player to win a Home Run Derby crown.
On Friday night, Guerrero led off the second inning with a 426-foot drive off Arizona starter Ryne Nelson for his 14th home run.
He is the fifth Derby winner to homer in his first game back, joining Prince Fielder (2009), Ryan Howard (2006), Ken Griffey Jr. (1998) and Tino Martinez (1997).
Guerrero connected on a 2-2 slider from Nelson.
“It just kind of slipped out of my hand, popped a little bit, right where he wants it,” Nelson said. “Right there, that’s a pitch I have to execute and not leave it over the plate.”
Toronto is 51-41, a season-best 10 games above .500.
“I liked the way we played,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “We’re going to continue to play with the same intensity. It’s excellent right now.”