|Richard Urena mobbed after walkoff pushes Jays past O’s|
The season has long been over for the Toronto Blue Jays, as far as their own contending status. But for a second straight night the Jays played the role of spoiler perfectly.
On Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, the host Blue Jays rallied against Baltimore closer Zach Britton. Toronto scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to walkoff the Orioles by a 3-2 score.
It marked the second straight night that Toronto registered a one-run victory over Baltimore. the loss also extended Baltimore’s recent untimely swoon to six consecutive defeats. As a result, the O’s are now 4.5 games out in the race for the final American League Wildcard playoff berth.
Just as importantly, there are five teams now sitting between Baltimore and Minnesota. The Twins currently hold possession of that final postseason slot.
Tim Beckham‘s 21st home run of the season, a solo shot, had put Baltimore in front by 2-1 in the top of the 8th inning. That blast somewhat spoiled an impressive outing by Jays’ starting pitcher Joe Biagini. The righty allowed just two runs on six hits across eight innings.
Biagini had been matched by O’s starter Dylan Bundy, who lasted just six frames, but struck out eight and surrendered just one run on five hits.
JAYS RALLY OFF ORIOLES CLOSER
The Jays game-winning rally began when Britton walked Kevin Pillar leading off the bottom of the ninth. Teoscar Hernandez then singled, with Pillar rolling around to third base as the tying run.
Jays skipper John Gibbons sent Darwin Barney up to pinch-hit for Ryan Goins, but Barney grounded into a force out, keeping Pillar stranded.
Catcher Luke Maile came through, however. He drilled a first-pitch shot off O’s third baseman Manny Machado, and Pillar scored the tying run as the ball rolled into left field with Barney moving up to second base.
Richard Urena followed, and on a 1-1 offering from Britton he lined a clean single to center field. Pillar raced home with the winning run, and Toronto had their walkoff spoiler.
BOTH SKIPPERS CHIME IN
“They’re pitching well and we’re not swinging the bats well,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter per Eduardo A. Encina for The Baltimore Sun. “You don’t reach this level, either team, without having a lot of competitive spirit in you. I think both teams showed it. Two well-pitched games and we weren’t able to finish it off.”
Gibbons was quoted on his team’s big win by MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:
“A lot of good things tonight. Urena getting the big walk-off hit. He’s been playing great. Tim Mayza getting his first. Teoscar nice piece of hitting in the ninth inning shooting the ball to right field and Maile, Lukey, with the big hit. You don’t get many balls by Machado, that’s for sure.”
The two division rivals will wrap up this series, and their 2017 season series with one another, with one final game in Toronto on Wednesday night.
The Orioles have won 11 of the 18 games this year between the two teams. But it is the Blue Jays who are gaining a measure of late-season satisfaction as they turn Baltimore’s postseason dream into a nightmare.