Having been denied a pitchers' duel on Saturday, Blue Jays fans got to see one on Monday as Marco Estrada and Chris Tillman both threw 7.1 very quick innings with each making just one major mistake, both coming in the second inning. Despite this, neither starter factored in the decision as, for the second game in a row, the Blue Jays won on a go-ahead run in the ninth inning.
Tillman's mistake came against Edwin Encarnacion, who destroyed a 0-1 offering and deposited it deep into the left field seats to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays' bats were held mostly silent against Tillman, going 1-2-3 in the first, third, sixth, and seventh innings. The Orioles starter had previously given up 31 runs and 35 hits in his five starts against the Jays in 2015, but tonight he gave up just two runs on five hits to avoid a record-setting fifth loss against Toronto this season. Encarnacion's homer was the 10th given up by Tillman against Toronto, which is equal to the number he has given up to all other teams he has faced, according to Rich Dubroff.
On the other side, Estrada gave up four hits and three runs, all of which came on a Ryan Flaherty homer just over the short wall in left field after a couple of singles on back-to-back-to-back pitches. As the anti-Tillman, one-quarter of Flaherty's career home runs have come against Toronto, according to Mike Wilner.
In the top of the eighth, Ryan Goins led off with a single against Tillman, who was taken out after pinch hitter Justin Smoak grounded out on a nubber. Submariner Darren O'Day came in and promptly allowed a Ben Revere RBI-single followed by a Josh Donaldson single with a chopper up the middle.
With the fourth single of the inning, O'Day's nemesis Jose Bautista singled to right fielder Geraldo Parra, driving in Revere to tie the game 3-3. However, Bautista's attempt to sneak to second after the throw home failed and he was tagged out on a short rundown. Estrada and Brett Cecil combined for a 1-2-3 Shutdown Inning™ in the bottom of the eighth.
The top of the ninth saw parrot call Brad Brach on the mound. Dioner Navarro singled and was replaced at first by Dalton Pompey, then Kevin Pillar singled to get runners on first and second. Goins dropped down a nice Fundamentally-Sound™ sacrifice bunt, deadening it between the catcher and the mound to move the runners up. Smoak came up and grounded softly to first. Chris Davis threw high in an attempt to get the chugging Pompey, who scored the go-ahead run easily.
Seeing the overthrow, Pillar rounded third and scored on a beautiful slide at home, narrowly avoiding Matt Wieters' tag at home to make it 5-3 Toronto. However, Joe West found himself out of position to see the play so he called Pillar out and the video evidence was for some reason not enough for New York to overturn the play. The Blue Jays had to settle for a one-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but that was more than enough as Cecil and Roberto Osuna combined for a clean inning to secure the win.
The 20-year-old Osuna recorded his 20th save while Cecil and his curveball recorded the win. Cecil has not allowed an earned run in 99 days.
There were two great defensive plays by the Blue Jays outfielders tonight. The one made by Ben Revere is not embeddable for absolutely no reason but here is Kevin Pillar making another fantastic catch in Camden Yards. It seems so long since he last did that.
Jays of the Day! Jose Bautista (+.179 WPA), Brett Cecil (+.134), and Roberto Osuna (+.096). I'll give bonus JoDs to Kevin Pillar (+.090) and Justin Smoak (+.085) as well.
Suckage Jays: Chris Colabello (-.139). Marco Estrada (-.094) was close but he settled down and quieted the Orioles' after the homer so he won't get a suckage.
We had 1292 comments in our GameThread in which DangYouToHeck contributed 99 comments, edging out MartsB's 98, Eric H's 97, and Alan F.'s 95. It was a close race for the title.
|20||Dr. Brixton Steel, Ph.D, Esq.||21|
The Yankees lost 5-1 just after the Blue Jays game ended so Toronto's lead is now five games and their magic number to clinch the American League East is now 2. They can clinch the division tomorrow. Seriously. They will try to do so behind Marcus Stroman, who face off against righty Miguel Gonzalez at 7:05 pm. Go Jays Go!
This Game Recap is dedicated to Canadian tenor Michael Burgess, who died today at age 70. Burgess became the first person to sing "O Canada" at a World Series game when he did so in Atlanta's Fulton County Museum before game 1 of the 1992 World Series between the Blue Jays and Braves. He also sang the national anthem at many Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction days before his illness prevented him from doing so this year.