When the Blue Jays and Orioles get together they rarely disappoint. Toronto’s win tonight was no exception
It’s no secret when these two teams get together there are often fireworks. A lot of fireworks. And, the Orioles and Blue Jays certainly didn’t wait long to get things started.
With Marco Estrada struggling to find the zone in the first, he was able to work his way into a two out, two strike situation before leaving a pitch up to Mark Trumbo. The big left fielder drove the high fastball to the right centerfield gap for a 2 RBI double, and a 2-0 lead. It was short-lived.
Toronto grabbed the lead right back, in typical Blue Jays fashion. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Troy Tulowitzki all hit solo home runs in the bottom half of the first. Orioles starter, Kevin Gausman, was down 3-2 before he got acquainted with the mound.
— MLB (@MLB) July 29, 2016
Trailing by a run in the third the Orioles would score the tying run on a crazy play. With the defense shifted for Chris Davis, a ground ball to Donaldson saw Manny Machado scamper to third on the throw to first. With Martin late in covering, the throw from Justin Smoak, though exact, got there at the same time as the runner. The resulting deflection allowed Machado to race home with the tying run. Weird one, all around.
Fortunately, the Blue Jays the offense rallied back in the bottom half of the inning. Aided by a Matt Wieters throwing error, Toronto put together some terrific at-bats to cash in a trio of runs. An RBI ground out from Tulowitzki together with RBI singles from Russell Martin and Kevin Pillar gave Toronto a 6-3 lead.
Despite completing the inning, Orioles’ starter Kevin Gausman was chased after three innings. His final line for night 3IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 3HR, 3BB, 4K. The young RHP was replaced by long-man Vance Worley.
Toronto starter, Marco Estrada, put together an uneven start, however, he did enough through his six innings of work to leave with a 6-4 lead. After retiring the last eight hitters he would see, Estrada left the game after 99 pitches with a final line of 6IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K. His replacement would be newly acquired reliever Joaquin Benoit.
Orioles reliever, Worley, would hold the Blue Jays offense as bay for his four innings of work. His outing allowed the Orioles to stay within striking distance at 6-4, and perhaps saved their bullpen for the rest of the series.
After Benoit’s scoreless inning in the seventh, Jason Grilli would take over for the eighth and quickly allowed a solo home run to Orioles third baseman, Manny Machado. With the score 6-5, Grilli would shut down the middle of Baltimore’s lineup, while recording two strikeouts.
Despite surrendering a 2-out double to J.J. Hardy, Roberto Osuna would close out the ninth inning. His one inning of work consisted of one hit and strikeout, and ended with his 22nd save of the season.
With the win the Blue Jays improved to 58-45 and climbed to within 1/2 a game of Baltimore for the American League East division lead.
PLAY OF THE GAME
— Alykhan K. Ravjiani (@AlykhanKR) July 29, 2016
Tonight’s JFtC game ball goes to DH Edwin Encarnacion. The slugger went 2 for 3 at the plate with a home run, a double and a walk, while also driving in a run and scoring two.
Tonight’s turning point proved to be the 3 run inning the Blue Jays put together in the third. Aided by a throwing error from Matt Wieters, Toronto chipped away and manufactured their runs in small ball fashion.
NEWS & NOTES
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, rumours are flying. The latest involving the Blue Jays has them tied to Colorado Rockies’ LH reliever Boone Logan.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) July 29, 2016
The Blue Jays and Orioles will be locking horns through Sunday. Please check out our series preview for a breakdown of the pitching matchups and players to watch, here.
*Featured Image Credit: – C Stem UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.