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Jays Blow 3-Run Lead, Lose to Orioles

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Orioles 6 Blue Jays 5

There was a weird moment in the sixth inning. Alek Manoah had two guys on base, just got a strikeout on Adam Frazier (on a rather iffy check swing). Manoah and Frazier had some words (I think Frazier complained about the check swing call, and Alek gently suggested he get off the field and do something anatomically impossible). Then John Schneider came out to talk to Manoah, perhaps to calm him down. But Schneider forgot that Pete Walker had already visited Alek that inning, and the second visit meant that Manoah had to be removed from the game. The plate umpire had to inform John of that.

Luckily Tim Mayza had been throwing in the pen. If not, it could have been a very bad moment. Mayza got pinch-hitter Joey Ortiz to fly out to the wall in center. Kevin Kiermaier made a very nice catch. If that had been a hit, Schneider would have had to field many questions after the game (not that he shouldn’t be questioned about it, anyway). I would have thought that Walker should have stopped John from going out there.

I don’t know if I have ever seen that before.

That was one of Manoah’s better starts this season. He did go 7 innings of shutout ball against the Royals in early April, and he also had 7 innings of shutout ball versus the Yankees in mid-May, but this was a pretty decent start. He went 5.2, allowed 6 hits, 2 earned, and 1 walk with 5 strikeouts.

He did get some help early from a plate umpire with a very generous strike zone. And the Jays made a couple of nice double plays behind him.

After four innings, I thought we weren’t going to score today.

We had chances:

  • In the first, Bo Bichette reached on an error by second baseman Frazier and Vladimir Guerrero lined one hard to center, but center fielder Cedric Mullins made a very nice diving catch.
  • In the third, Santiago Espinal led off with a double. Kiermaier ground one to first to move him to third. But Springer (lineup) and Bo (strikeout) stranded him.
  • In the fourth, Brandon Belt walked, and Matt Chapman doubled off the top of the wall in center, giving us runners on second and third with one out. But Jansen ground one to the pitcher, and Belt was caught off third. He got in a rundown, and it all finished with runners on second and third again. But Varsho struck out, and we missed a chance again.

After that, we started scoring. We got:

  • Two in the fifth: Espinal singled, and Springer homered, tying the game.
  • One in the sixth: Jansen homers.
  • Two in the seventh: Espinal got a pretty lucky single (but his third hit of the day). Stealing second, he pulled up with an apparent hamstring issue. Luckily, the throw to second was off-line. Whit Merrifield took his spot, stole third, and scored on a Springer single. Springer stole second (another bad throw, and Springer looked to run his head into the fielder’s legs. For a moment, I thought we had our second injury). After a walk to Vlad, the Orioles brought in lefty Cole Irvin, so John pinch-hit Alejandro Kirk for Belt, and Kirk singled home Springer.

After Mayza finished out the sixth, Trevor Richards started the seventh. He gave up a hit and a walk while getting two outs. Erik Swanson got the third out on a deep fly out to center.

Swanson stayed out for the eighth (he’s had two bad outings in a row before this), and gave up a walk and single, with a ground out in between. After a strikeout, John brought Jordan Romano in for a four-out save. (As Ron Howard would say) it didn’t work. Jordan gave up a home run on a 2-2 pitch, tying the game. That was his third blown save of the season. Orioles closer Felix Bautista also has 3 blown saves.

In the bottom of the eighth, Merrifield had a two-out hit that he tried to stretch into a double but was thrown out. Jays challenged (why not), but nothing in the replay could overturn it. I thought, staying at first, he could steal and that the O’s catcher had thrown wide of second twice on steals, but it was a close play. Needed a perfect throw to get him.

Romano went out for the bottom of the eight. He got a popout, gave up a single, and got a strikeout. Yimi Garcia took over to face Ryan Mountcastle and got a four-pitch strikeout.

Needing a run in the bottom of the ninth, Kiermaier beat out an infield single, hitting one into the hole that the shortstop did get to, but his throw was well late. I was looking for a steal, and he got it. Springer walked to put runners on first and second. Bo struck out chasing on a ball way low. Vlad popped out on the first pitch. Kirk up, he got to 3-1 and chased two pitches well high of the zone.

We needed to score there. We had the winning run at second and your two, three, four hitters coming up. Such is this season.

To extras we go:

Top of the tenth:

Garcia still out.. Mountcastle on second.

Adam Frasier shows bunt and gets the sac bunt down. Austin Hays ground one right to Chapman, but his throw home hit the runner. Chapman had no time to move to get a better line. Ryan O’Hearn struck out. And Terrin Vavra grounds out.

Bottom of the tenth:

Jays need to score. Cavan Biggio pinch-running at second. Bautista is still in for the O’s.

Chapman up and strikes out. Jansen goes to 0-2, takes two balls high, and then strikes out. Varsho, seeing lots of very high fastballs, got to 2-2, and then strikes out on a fastball about head high. Jays lose.

Bautista got six outs, five of them were strikeouts. Most of those had us swinging at pitches high above the plate.

Jays had 10 hits on the day, 2 of them with RISP. Espinal had 3 hits before coming out of the game with a sore hamstring. Springer had 3 hits. Bo, Vlad, Belt and Varsho had 0 fors.

Jays of the Day: Springer (.233 WPA, Espinal (.168), and Chapman (.134).

The Other Award: Romano (-.262), Varsho (-.270), Vlad (-.162), Bo (-.160), and Janson (-.100, even with the home run). Garcia had the number too, -.245, but that was because of the Manfred Man and the Chapman ‘error’ hitting the runner coming home.

Tomorrow we have game three of this series of the damned.