Blue Jays channel 'Ted Lasso' in routing Dodgers 8-1 to take 2 of 3 from NL West leaders

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Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Trevor Richards, left, and catcher Danny Jansen celebrate the team's 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

LOS ANGELES – Whit Merrifield and the Toronto Blue Jays took a page from “Ted Lasso.”

The title character in the sports comedy-drama TV series told his soccer team to be goldfish because the creatures have short memories.

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After losing 8-7 in 10 innings a night earlier after a wild comeback by the Dodgers, the Blue Jays refocused and forgot about the sting of that defeat.

Merrifield hit a three-run homer, Danny Jansen also went deep and Toronto won 8-1 on Wednesday in taking two of three from the NL West leaders.

“It's the ‘Ted Lasso’ thing about being a goldfish,” Merrifield said. “What happened yesterday can only affect us today negatively. We did a great job of showing up today ready to play and salvaged a road trip.”

Merrifield was 2 for 4 with a season-high-tying four RBIs, two runs scored and a strikeout. He hit .462 (6-for-12) with a home run and four RBI in the three-game series.

“I'm really proud of them. That's a huge bounce-back win,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Tough to win a series against a good team on the road. Did that.”

Merrifield sent an 0-2 pitch from Tony Gonsolin (5-4) over the wall in left with two outs in the fifth inning, scoring Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who both singled.

Jansen led off the sixth, blasting a line-drive to left off reliever Alex Vesia for a 6-0 lead.

Merrifield sacrificed into a double play that scored Guerrero in the second for the Blue Jays' first run. Matt Chapman hit his AL-leading 32nd double of the season in the inning. Brandon Belt had a RBI single in the third.

Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi (8-3) allowed one run and seven hits in six innings on a season-high 103 pitches. The left-hander struck out eight and walked two.

“He’s been nails. When he’s in the zone, he’s got great stuff,” Merrifield said. “He had those guys really off-balance for most of the day, staying off guys’ barrels and pounding the zone, working ahead.”

Toronto's Bo Bichette added a two-run single in the eighth.

Blue Jays bench coach Don Mattingly was ejected in the fifth by home-plate umpire Ben May.

“We were kind of mentioning to Ben that some of those fastballs looked like the same height for strikes on us and they disagreed,” Schneider said.

Gonsolin gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out five, walked three and threw a career-high 109 pitches on a 92-degree (33 Celsius) day.

The Dodgers got their lone run on James Outman's RBI single with two outs in the sixth that made it 6-1.

Kiké Hernández went 2 for 4 a day after being traded to the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox. The utilityman helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series during his time in LA before going East.


Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) played catch.


Blue Jays: Off Thursday before RHP Kevin Gausman (7-5, 3.18 ERA) starts at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

Dodgers: After an off-day Thursday, RHP Bobby Miller (6-1, 4.28) starts against Cincinnati on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.


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