Blue Jays blank Guardians, 5-0

The Toronto Blue Jays jumped out to an early lead and Bowden Francis pitched four strong innings of relief en route to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Cleveland Guardians on Saturday afternoon.

Francis (3-2) allowed four hits and struck out two as the Blue Jays gained a split of the first two games of the three-game series.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa had two hits and an RBI for Toronto.

Steven Kwan had three singles for the Guardians to extend his hit streak to 10 games. Josh Naylor added two hits.

Right-hander Trevor Richards was the opener for Toronto and allowed one hit with one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings. Tim Mayza and Zach Pop followed him in the third in which Cleveland had two singles. Francis took over in the fourth.

Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (2-6) allowed five runs, six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in five innings. He also hit two batters.

Toronto took the lead in the second inning. Justin Turner walked, Daulton Varsho doubled to right, and George Springer and Addison Barger hit RBI singles. Kiner-Falefa sacrificed the runners to second and third and Spencer Horwitz followed with a two-out RBI single to left.

The Blue Jays added a run in the fourth. Springer led off with a walk, took second on a groundout and scored on Kiner-Falefa’s single to center.

Toronto took a 5-0 lead in the fifth. Danny Jansen was hit by a pitch, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ended an 0-for-19 drought with an infield hit to shortstop and Turner was hit by a pitch. A run scored when Varsho bounced into a double play.

Genesis Cabrera took over from Francis in the eighth and pitched around a single with the help of a double play grounder. Nate Pearson pitched the ninth for Toronto and allowed only a walk.

Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette (sore calf) did not play.