Teoscar Hernandez leads the Toronto Blue Jays into Washington for the opener of a two-game interleague series against the Nationals on Tuesday night.
The American League Player of the Week is batting a sizzling .531 (17-for-32) with three homers, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored over his last eight games.
“The funny thing about this is that not many people talk about Teoscar Hernandez,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said after Hernandez went 3-for-4 with a solo homer in Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.
“I haven’t seen it anywhere. They should start. This guy was a Silver Slugger last year, this year he was an All-Star. He’s hitting over .300 with 81 RBIs. He’s having a great year.”
The win allowed the Blue Jays to snap a three-game losing skid.
Toronto received good news off the field as well. Montoya said George Springer showed improvement on Sunday, one day after the latter sustained a left ankle injury.
The Blue Jays will turn to right-hander Alek Manoah (5-1, 2.59 ERA) on Tuesday.
Manoah, a 23-year-old rookie, looks to win his fourth straight start in the series opener. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings in a 10-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
“I felt pretty good. I was able to locate the heater, I was able to get ahead with that,” Manoah said. “Put them away with some offspeeds and stayed on the attack with the heater. Everything felt really good.”
Manoah has yet to face the Nationals in his young career.
The Blue Jays come to Washington having lost five of their last nine games.
The Nationals will turn to Erick Fedde (4-8, 5.12) on Tuesday in their bid to halt a season-worst seven-game losing streak.
In his last start, Fedde allowed two runs on six hits in four innings of a no-decision against the New York Mets.
Fedde beat the Blue Jays on April 28, permitting one run on two hits while striking out seven in six innings. He is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in two career starts versus Toronto.
The Nationals’ rotation took a hit on Sunday when Joe Ross was placed on the 10-day injured list with a partial tear of his right elbow ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
The 28-year-old Ross underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and may be headed there again.
“He’s down, we’re all down, but we hope the best comes out of this,” manager Dave Martinez said. “I don’t want to make any assumptions until he goes and sees Dr. (Keith) Meister and we get a report for him as well.”
From the planned 2021 rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester and Joe Ross, only Corbin remains active for Washington. The Nationals haven’t won a game he started since July 7.
Washington, which is 10-30 since July 1, is in last place in the National League East.
Outfielder Lane Thomas, recalled from Triple-A Rochester, had two singles and a walk, while Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom each had two hits in a 6-5 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
“They’re not giving up,” Martinez said. “Honestly for me, it’s fun to watch some of these guys get an opportunity to play. … I tell them the results are going to come. You keep playing hard, the end result will be there.”
–Field Level Media