Jays Edge Orioles in Ten Innings, Offense Continues Surge

Jenn Connor
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Toronto Blue Jays downed the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 in ten innings to take the first two games of their three games series Tuesday night at Camden Yards.  


The Jays began their half of the tenth with Travis Shaw at second in scoring position as per MLB’s new extra inning format. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. walked and catcher Danny Jansen followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s sharp grounder to first was knocked down by Orioles first basemen Chris Davis, but his throw to the plate one-hopped in front of the plate, evading catcher Pedro Severino and allowing Shaw to score the go ahead run. One run was all the Jays would get, but that would be all they would need as Anthony Kay worked his second scoreless inning of relief to register the win.  


Rookie Nate Pearson got the start for the Blue Jays and worked four innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits -- three of them homeruns. He struck out three and walked three.  


The Orioles jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, on the first of two homeruns by Anthony Santander. A two-run homer by Jays centre fielder Randal Grichuk off O’s starter Wade LeBlanc tied the score in the top of the third, but Santander’s second homer off Pearson -- a solo shot -- gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead after three innings. 


The Blue Jays, however, erupted for five runs in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead.  Back-to-back singles by left fielder Anthony Alford and shortstop Santiago Espinal and a walk to Cavan Biggio loaded the bases with none out. That was the end of LeBlanc’s night as the O’s brought in reliever Travis Lakins to face Grichuk. The Jays right fielder jumped on a 2-0 fastball from Lakins, doubling off the right field wall to score both Alford and Espinal. Shaw followed with a towering two-run homer to center, giving Pearson some much needed breathing room.  


The Orioles fought back in their half of the inning and it was the long ball that again hurt the young Jays righthander.  Shortstop Andrew Velazquez led off with a walk and designated hitter Chance Sisco drove a hanging slider from Pearson over the fence in right to cut the Jays lead to 7-5. Jays manager Charlie Montoyo decided he had seen enough from Pearson and brought in reliever Shun Yamaguchi. The righthander retired Santander, but Rio Ruiz doubled to left and advanced to third on a throwing error by Gurriel Jr.. Ruiz scored on a sacrifice fly by Renato Nunez and the Orioles trailed by a run after five. 


The Orioles tied the score in their half of the seventh off Jays reliever A.J. Cole. Cole retired Santander and Ruiz to start the inning, but Nunez reached on an infield single and advanced to third on a double by Severino. Cole intentionally walked Dwight Smith to load the bases, but pinch hitter Hanser Alberto singled to score Nunez. Cole escaped further damage,  getting Cedric Mullins to pop out to second baseman Brandon Drury to end the inning.  


Both bullpens were effective in the eighth and ninth innings, setting the stage for the Jays' run-scoring tenth. 


With the win, the Jays record improves to 9-11, five and a half games behind the AL East division leading New York Yankees.  The Jays will go for the sweep of the Orioles tomorrow afternoon wth Tanner Roark getting the ball for the Blue Jays while lefthander Tommy Milone gets the start for Baltimore.  First pitch 1:05 p.m.