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A five run ninth inning gets the Jays a needed win

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 10 Orioles 7

Thank you, Jays. I needed that. There will be all sorts of narratives about the bench-clearing turning things around for the Jays, but they looked lifeless after the clearing. But, I’m happy to buy into those narratives, since we got the win.

We have been waiting for an inning like that ninth inning for days now. Just short of a miracle.

In the ninth:

  • Joe Panik flew out
  • Biggio walked
  • Espinal singled (getting on base for the fourth time today).
  • Gurriel singled.
  • Pinch hitter Riley Adams got strikes against him on both edges of the plate and struck out.
  • After hitting two home runs already, Semien took a walk, bringing home a run and putting the tying run at second, go-ahead run at first.
  • Bo Bichette saw nine pitches, fouling off seven in a row, then popped one to left field. The Orioles' right fielder Anthony Santander was playing surprisingly deep and, after a long run, had it go off his glove. Tie game, runners on first and third.
  • Vladimir Guerrero lined a double to left-center. Both runners scored Jays up by two.
  • Randal Grichuk doubled home Vlad.
  • Cavan Biggio struck out to end the inning.

Until the ninth, most of the excitement in this game came in the bottom of the fourth inning.

After giving up back-to-back home runs (the third and fourth he gave up this game), Alek Manoah hit Maikel Frano with a pitch. I don’t think it was on purpose, but I can understand why Franco might have questioned it. In the ‘old days,’ you will likely plunk the next guy if you give up back-to-back home runs.

Franco didn’t seem to be overly upset, but Manoah started towards Franco, likely saying it wasn’t on purpose, but...Alek is a big guy, and he looked pretty aggressive. So, of course, the benches cleared.

Franco tried to hold the Orioles bench back.

Like most baseball bench-clearing moments, there wasn’t much for fighting, but there was some yelling. Freddy Glavis (for whatever reason) and Orioles manager Branden Hyde seemed to be the most upset (Vlad pulled Glavis aside (carrying him)). Charlie got into the yelling, by the looks of things, back at Hyde.

Manoah ended up ejected from the game. Tough to know why from here, but likely because of how aggressive he seemed after hitting Franco.

It wasn’t a good start. 3.1 innings, 4 hits (all home runs), 5 earned, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.

Anthony Kay came in and looked better than Alek did but gave up Ryan Mountcastle’s third and Cedric Mullins’ second home runs of the game. He also gave up the first Orioles hit that wasn’t a home run. His line 3.1 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned, 3 strikeouts.

Anthony Castro pitched a scoreless seventh.

Jordan Romano did the same in the eighth to get some work and stayed out there for the ninth. He gave up a leadoff walk to make us sweat. He followed that with a pair of strikeouts and a ground out.

Offensively, we had two solo homers in the first inning. Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero went deep.

We got another run in the seventh. Joe Panik walked, and Santiago Espinal singled. But pinch-hitter, Lourdes Gurriel, pinch-hitting, hit into a double play. Panik scored. It was a pretty fantastic play. Lourdes hit it hard, but Steve Wilkerson made a great diving stop, flipped to Glavis, who threw to first.

And we got another run in the eight. Marcus Semien hit his second home run of the day.

Then came the almost unbelievable ninth.

Jays of the Day: Vlad (.463 WPA, mainly on the huge double in the ninth), Bo (.284), Semien (.161, for the two home runs and the walk in the ninth), and Espinal (.134, 2 hits, and 2 walks).

Suckage: Manoah (-.361), and Adam (-.089).

I’m going to be missing tomorrow. My son is taking me golfing, a chance to see if I’ve magically figured out how to golf in the year since that last time I’ve swung a club.

We had 451 comments in the GameThread. EMK19 led us to a thrilling victory.

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1 EMK19 89
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