Castillo’s 10th-inning HR salvages 5-3 win for Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Welington Castillo came off the disabled list earlier this week and started hitting well right away, giving the Baltimore Orioles a lift on offense. He continued his hot streak on Friday night in series opener with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Castillo hit a two-run walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning that gave Baltimore a 5-3 victory over Toronto on Friday night.
Castillo went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs. He’s 9-for-15 since returning to the active roster.
The catcher also has hit in eight straight games, dating back to before he landed on the disabled list, and his average sits at .365.
“I just don’t try to do too much,” Castillo said. “I‘m seeing the ball better. I don’t worry about my power. I know it’s going to come.”
The second home run occurred after a 58-minute rain delay following the top of the 10th inning. Jason Grilli came on to pitch for the Blue Jays and retired the first two batters.
Mark Trumbo then followed with a bloop single to right. Castillo then came up and belted his second homer of the night, a line shot to left off Grilli (1-4) on a 1-2 pitch.
“I thought he was really throwing good,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Grilli. “He was ahead of Castillo, but he didn’t get it where he wanted.”
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said it is kind of hard to believe that Castillo had hit only one homer coming into this game, especially because he’s always been a solid hitter.
Welington’s had a good track record of being a good offensive catcher, and he’s done a good job for us defensively,” Showalter said. “He’s a real tough-minded guy. He’s got a certain mental toughness about him.”
The Orioles (24-16) snapped a two-game losing streak after dropping six of their last seven games. Mychal Givens (4-0) picked up the victory after blanking Toronto in the 10th before the rain came.
The Orioles improved to 7-1 in extra-inning games and the Blue Jays (18-25) fell to 2-5 in extras.
Baltimore tied the score at 3 when Castillo lined his first homer of the night, a two-run shot to right-center field off Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez in the sixth.
Sanchez and Orioles starter Chris Tillman each lasted six innings, and they both left with the score tied 3-3. After the game, Sanchez was disappointed about giving up that homer in the sixth.
“I‘m just a little frustrated,” Sanchez said. “I feel like if I can get through that sixth inning, we don’t play until midnight.”
The Jays nearly took the lead in the seventh against Darren O‘Day. Justin Smoak struck out with the bases loaded and two outs, and the ball got away from Castillo, appearing to give Toronto a 4-3 lead.
However, the pitch hit Smoak on the leg, even though he swung and missed, and the rules state that the play is dead at that point.
The umpires reviewed the play and made that ruling, keeping the score at 3-3.
The Orioles took the early lead in the bottom of the second inning. J.J. Hardy hit a soft single to center with the bases loaded and one out to put Baltimore on top 1-0.
Toronto answered with three in the fourth. Smoak tied it with an RBI single before Devon Travis followed with a run-scoring double to right.
Ryan Goins came up next and made it 3-1 with a soft groundout to second. The Blue Jays unsuccessfully tried to squeeze in a run with Darwin Barney at the plate, but his failure to lay down a bunt led to the Orioles getting Travis caught in a rundown between third and home.
NOTES: 2B Jonathan Schoop batted leadoff for the Orioles, the first time he has done that this season and just the second time in his career. Schoop went 0-for-3 but drew two walks. ... The start of the game was delayed 29 minutes by the threat of bad weather. ... LF Anthony Alford made his major league debut for Toronto after being recalled from Double-A New Hampshire earlier in the day. Alford went 0-for-2 and was pinch-hit for in the seventh.