Blue Jays rally to send Orioles to sixth straight loss
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays continue to receive an infusion of energy from their September call-ups.
Richard Urena is one, playing well at shortstop. He went 3-for-5 and singled home the winning run in the two-run bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Blue Jays a comeback 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Left fielder Teoscar Hernandez, who played at Triple-A Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with the Houston Astros, was another contributor. He hit an opposite-field single in the ninth to help spark the rally.
“Really awesome,” said catcher Luke Maile, whose game-tying single was deflected by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. “It changes the dynamic of the team and how we score runs lately. You’re not so much relying on someone hitting it over the fence. Not to say you don’t enjoy the three-run homer because that always plays.”
The Blue Jays (68-77) won their fourth straight game while the Orioles (71-74) lost their sixth straight.
The winning rally came against Orioles closer Zach Britton (2-1), who entered the game to get the final out of the eighth.
“It’s a loss, and they’re hard anytime,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “We just couldn’t finish it off. ... (Britton) was really good in the eighth and threw some good pitches in the ninth. They just hit a few balls where we couldn’t catch them.”
Urena said, “I feel a lot of emotions, you dream about that. You just come out here and try to do your job, and it’s just a plus when you get a chance to win a game. (Britton) is a closer, throws hard. Anytime I go out there, I just look for a fastball up in the zone, and he gave me one, so I put a good swing on it.”
Tim Beckham hit the go-ahead home run (his 21st) in the eighth inning against Blue Jays starter Joe Biagini after the Orioles had tied the score in the seventh.
Biagini allowed two runs, six hits and no walks in eight innings. The right-hander struck out two and did not factor in the decision.
Reliever Tim Mayza (1-0) pitched one-third of an inning to get his first big league win.
“(Biagini) was really good,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He really didn’t use his breaking ball much. I think he used that quite a bit in Baltimore the last time he faced them (Sept. 1). Just a good live fastball. Really a dominating performance. If it’s tied, I’m going to let him go back out.
“A lot of good things tonight. Urena getting the big walk-off hit, he’s playing great. Mayza getting his first (win). Teoscar, nice piece of hitting in the ninth inning, shooting that ball to right field. Maile got a big hit; you don’t get many balls by Machado down there.”
Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy did not factor in the decision after allowing one run, five hits and one walk while striking out eight in six innings.
The Orioles tied the score at 1 in the seventh on a one-out double by Trey Mancini and a two-out single by Mark Trumbo.
Mychal Givens replaced Bundy and pitched a perfect seventh.
Biagini, who had pitched seven innings three times this season as the previous longest starts of his career, returned for the eighth and gave up a one-out homer to Beckham on only his 86th pitch of the game.
Baltimore reliever Brad Brach allowed a leadoff single to left in the eighth by Urena, who was thrown out by Mancini trying for a double. Josh Donaldson walked and Justin Smoak singled. Jose Bautista popped out to the catcher in fair territory for the second out, and Britton took over to end the inning by striking out Morales.
Britton walked Kevin Pillar to lead off the ninth.
“That just puts you in a bind right away,” Britton said. “I just didn’t execute after that. I just kind of let the inning get away from me, which is pretty frustrating.”
Hernandez singled to put runners at corners with none out.
Pinch hitter Darwin Barney’s grounder to second against the drawn-in infield forced Hernandez at second while Pillar held at third. Maile singled to third to tie the score at 2, and Urena hit the winning single.
“Putting a guy on, you’ve got to be really good after that,” Britton said. “I was hoping to get a double-play ball but just couldn’t make that quality pitch. I just needed to bear down and kind of overthrew some pitches. They put good wood on the mistakes I made.”
The Blue Jays had leadoff hits in each of the first three innings but did not capitalize until the third. Maile singled and scored on a two-out double by Smoak on a drive that eluded the leap at the wall by right fielder Joey Rickard.
NOTES: Blue Jays C Russell Martin (left oblique strain) was activated from the disabled list and could start Wednesday. He had been out since Aug. 12. ... Orioles C Welington Castillo (groin) said he was sore but hoped to play in a few days. He was hit by a foul ball in the first inning Monday and did not return for the second. After being tested at a hospital, he is day-to-day with a contusion. ... Orioles OF Craig Gentry (broken right finger) was activated from the DL after being cleared for use as a pinch runner. ... Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman (11-7, 3.18 ERA) will oppose Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman (10-10, 4.99) on Wednesday in the series finale.