Depleted Blue Jays overcome illness to beat Baltimore: 'This was a huge (expletive) win'

Published May. 13, 2024 10:31 p.m. ET

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays are having a hard enough time this year when their lineup is healthy.

So this win over the American League's top team — with several Toronto players battling illness — was a potential turning point.

“You don't want to say May 13 is a huge game, but this was a huge (expletive) win," manager John Schneider said. “We had nine guys, and we obviously had no moves to make. ... I told them before the game, 'There's no secrets here boys. You're not getting pinch-hit for, you're not getting pinch-run for.'"

Outfielders George Springer and Kevin Kiermaier and third baseman Justin Turner were out because they'd been sick, and catcher Danny Jansen had back spasms. That left Toronto basically without any position players aside from those who started Monday night at Baltimore.


Then the game went to extra innings, but the Blue Jays prevailed 3-2 in 10.

“I love the way they went about it," Schneider said. “You have to have a certain mindset and mentality when you get days like this, where guys are barely able to stand up, and you're forced into matchups that you don't love. So I couldn't appreciate the effort any more. Hopefully it's a character-building win.”

José Berríos, who hadn't been feeling great himself, allowed three hits in seven innings, but two of them were home runs by Adley Rutschman. The Blue Jays trailed 2-1 in the eighth when Daulton Varsho — who had robbed Ryan O'Hearn of a homer with a catch in center field four innings earlier — went deep to tie it.

Varsho's grounder brought home the only run of the 10th.

“I am plague free right now," Varsho said afterward. “Hopefully it stays that way.”

Berríos said starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt may have been needed in an emergency. Instead Toronto was able to get through the game with Berríos and relievers Yimi García and Jordan Romano.

The Blue Jays went 3-10 against the Orioles last year, and even after this win, they're in last place, 7 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Baltimore. But it is, as Schneider noted, only mid-May. There's plenty of time to rally if Toronto can avoid falling too far behind.

Maybe this victory was a start.

“We'll see how everyone is feeling tomorrow and go from there,” Schneider said.