It wasa nasty looking night in a nearly empty Camden Yards, eleven degrees and steady rain. The kind of game that wouldn’t be played in April, but tomorrow’s forecast looks even worse and these games have playoff implications so it has to be played.
Umpire Doug Eddings didn’t look like he wanted to be out there any more than the players did, and the zone has been wide al night.
9:26pm ET: we’re officially in a rain delay. It’s an official game, so I’m sure everyone involved would be just as happy to see it called, but given the playoff implication the umpires will do everything in their power to get 9 in.
10:23pm ET: it’s official, the game has been called, Jays win 5-1
The Jays lineup was able to consistently chip away at Dean Kremer tonight. They got on the board in the second, beginning with a one out Teoscar Hernandez line single. He remains insanely hot, now nine for his past 12 at bats. Matt Chapman followed with a walk, and the runners advanced on a Raimel Tapia ground out. Whit Merrifield lined a single to right and Kyle Stowers slipped fielding the ball, allowing both runners to score and staking Toronto to a 2-0 lead.
They tacked on another in the third, on a Vladimir Guerrero jr. bomb 422ft over the deepest part of the new cutout in left field:
In the fifth, they manufactured a fourth run. Whit Merrifield bunted for a single and advanced to second on a Kremer throwing error. He moved to third on a George Springer ground out and came in to score on a wild pitch. It was a beautiful piece of baserunning, the ball didn’t get that far from Rutshman but he read it perfectly and easily beat the throw.
Jose Berrios was strong tonight. The conditions caused him occasional problems with his control, but he battled through to deliver a very good start.
The only time the Orioles lineup was able to crack him was in the third inning. Jorge Mateo reached on a bunt up tue third base line that Matt Chapman got to but couldn’t make a good throw on. Those possibly weather-related command issues manifested, as Berrios walked Mullins and Rutschman to load the bases. Mateo would score on an Anthony Santander sac fly deep into the right field corner, making it 3-1, but Berrios battled back to strike out Ryan Mountcastle and end the inning.
Outside of that, however, they were never able to get much going. Berrios’ final line was 1 run in 6 innings on 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts.
The bullpens took over in the seventh. Keegan Akin gave up a couple hits but a pair of strikeouts and a Merrifield caught stealing got him out of the jam. In the bottom half, Tim Mayza had a 1-2-3 inning.
The Jays threatened again in the eighth, and this time were able to add a little insurance. Facing Yennier Cano, Bo Bichette hit a ground single into right field and Vlad worked a walk to put two on with nobody out, but Alejandro Kirk lined it right at Mateo and Hernandez struck out. Matt Chapman snuck a soft ground ball single through the right side to bring Bichette home. Raimel Tapia walked, loading the bases, but at that point crew chief Bill Miller decided the rain had gotten bad enough that he had to pull the players off the field.
Jays of the Day: Berrios (0.220), Merrifield (0.307)
We’ll be back at Camden Yards tomorrow at 7:05pm ET, weather permitting. Mitch White (1-6, 5.21) will represent the Blue Jays, while Mike Baumann (1-3, 4.34) will tale the mound for the Orioles.