A quick glimpse at the scoreline of this game would give off the impression that the Orioles throttled the Blue Jays tonight, but the truth is a little bit different from that initial reaction. Drew Hutchison struck out 11 hitters over 6.1 innings and was only brought down by some timely hits by the Orioles batters. With the win Baltimore clinched the division crown and will likely be the only American League East representative in this season's edition of the playoffs.
For the second night in a row the Blue Jays got off to an early lead in the first inning when Edwin Encarnacion drove home Jose Bautista from first to start the scoring. Unfortunately it was also the second night in a row where the Orioles hit back even harder in the bottom half of the first inning erasing all the damage that Toronto did in the top half. "Mr. Underrated" Steve Pearce smashed a three run home homer off a Drew Hutchison fastball with two outs, which ended up being the only offence the Orioles would need.
The Blue Jays got one back in the top half of the next inning when Jose Reyes drove home Munenori Kawasaki with a single to make it 3-2 Orioles. Baltimore struck back AGAIN in the bottom half when Jimmy Paredes knocked another Hutchison fastball over the Camden Yards wall.
Both Ubaldo Jimenez and Hutchison got it under control after the first two innings, racking up the K's and allowing very few hits. Hutchison capped the 22nd consecutive game that a Toronto starting pitcher went at least six innings in style by striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth.
The game got out of hand in the seventh when Aaron Loup relieved Hutchison with runners on the corners and one out before plunking Nick Markakis to load the bases. An Alejandro De Aza triple emptied the bases and extended the Orioles lead to 7-2 (two of those runs were charged to Hutchison). Kendall Graveman then replaced Loup and looked impressive getting the final two outs of the inning, so there's some optimism for the 2016 season.
The eighth inning began with Darren O'Day hitting Jose Bautista square in the back in retaliation for last night's beaning of Caleb Joseph by Marcus Stroman, although Bautista and O'Day doesn't come without its own bit of history. If you don't feel like watching the video, O'Day yelled something at Bautista after striking him out last season and then was forced to take some of his own medicine when Bautista homered off him later in the series and chirped right back at him. You can't blame the Orioles for taking some revenge to be honest, but it certainly doesn't reek of professionalism from Buck Showalter and company. Warnings were issued by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild, but nothing else came of it thankfully.
Daniel Norris pitched the bottom of the eighth and got lit up for two singles and a walk before allowing a sac fly to Nick Hundley to make it 8-2 for Baltimore. The Blue Jays went down quietly in the ninth to hand the division to Baltimore and Toronto was forced to watch their rivals celebrate on the field while the crowd cheered on. It wasn't a fun experience.
There's no Jays of the Day for the second night in a row, while Drew Hutchison (-.200 WPA) gets the Suckage Jay.
Tomorrow sees Bud Norris take on J.A. Happ in the series finale at 7:05. That. Freaking. Sucked.