Vladimir Guerrero Jr. just reached a key milestone before his Hall of Fame father did.
Guerrero Jr. hit his 100th home run at age 23, becoming the 10th youngest player in MLB history to reach the mark in the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night at Roger Centre.
Guerrero Jr. got the Blue Jays off to a quick 1-0 lead by belting a solo home run off Drew Rasmussen in the first inning, his 28th of the season. At 23 years, 182 days, he is the youngest Blue Jays player to reach 100 homers, a mark that had been held by Carlos Delgado at 26 years, 84 days.
Guerrero Jr. said he planned to give the milestone home run ball to his father, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
“He’s going to feel very proud of me,” Guerrero said through a translator. “When your son does something like that, I’m sure any dad would feel proud.”
Guerrero reached the 100-homer mark two years younger than his father, but Guerrero Sr. did it in 438 games to Jr.’s 486. Guerrero Sr. hit 449 homers in his 16-year career with the Angels, Expos, Rangers and Orioles.
Toronto, which has won three of the first four games against the Rays in their five-game set, trails the Yankees by six games in the AL East race.
In the expanded wild-card race, the Blue Jays (81-62) have a one-game lead over the Mariners (80-62) and a two-game edge on the Rays (79-63). The Baltimore Orioles (75-67) are on the outside looking in, four games behind the Rays in the playoff race.
— with AP