Alejandro Kirk didn't even need to play a full game to continue cementing his status as one of baseball's best hitting catchers.
Kirk went 4 for 4 and homered for the third straight game before leaving with a bruised left hand in the seventh inning of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
He appeared to get hit in the hand on a backswing from Jonathan Davis in the seventh. The 23-year-old Kirk remained in the game for the rest of that at-bat before leaving at the same time the Blue Jays made a pitching change.
Kirk's big night represented the latest chapter in his breakthrough season. He is hitting .321 with nine homers, 28 RBIs, a .406 on-base percentage and .913 OPS.
Alek Manoah (9-2) pitched 6 2/3 strong innings, Cavan Biggio homered and Matt Chapman delivered a bases-loaded double as Toronto won the first meeting between the teams since 2017.
Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor homered for the second consecutive game and Christian Yelich drove in two runs.
Manoah struck out six and allowed five hits, three walks and two runs to bounce back after giving up a season-high four runs in a 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.
Manoah has pitched so well this season that Friday’s performance actually caused his ERA to rise to 2.05. The Blue Jays are 26-8 in Manoah’s 34 career starts.
Toronto grabbed an early 5-0 lead by opening the second inning with six straight hits against Adrian Houser (4-8).
The Blue Jays extended their lead to 8-1 by scoring three in the seventh off Trevor Kelley, who allowed Biggio's solo shot and Kirk's two-run blast.