Blue Jays eliminate Orioles with 3-2 win
It became apparent long ago that the Toronto Blue Jays weren't going to the playoffs this year. They never stopped trying to win, however, and their latest victory made sure the Baltimore Orioles wouldn't be seeing the postseason, either.
Toronto eliminated the Orioles from playoff contention Tuesday night, using two clutch singles by Mark DeRosa to beat Baltimore 3-2 in 10 innings.
DeRosa entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and singled in the tying run. In the 10th, his second straight two-out RBI single put the Blue Jays ahead for good.
''It always feels good to come through for the team,'' DeRosa said. ''We've had a rough year. Every opportunity, you want to come through and want to do well. We find a way to keep fighting.''
Sergio Santos (1-1) worked a perfect ninth and Casey Janssen got three outs for his 34th save.
Jose Reyes drew a one-out walk in the Toronto 10th off Francisco Rodriguez (2-1) and Munenori Kawasaki singled. Reyes appeared to be picked off second but was called safe, drawing Orioles manager Buck Showalter out to argue the call.
''The throw beat me but he don't touch me,'' Reyes said. ''He don't tag me. It wasn't even close. That was the right call by the umpire.''
Brett Lawrie then hit into a fielder's choice and DeRosa singled to right.
''It feels good,'' DeRosa said. ''Like I said, we're going to keep fighting it to the end. It's just what we get paid to do. We have pride, guys are competitive, and you want to finish strong.''
Baltimore's sixth straight loss, combined with Cleveland's comeback win over the Chicago White Sox, left the Orioles six games behind the Indians for the final wild-card slot with five games left.
''We play all the way from February 15th or whenever we started to get to the playoffs,'' shortstop J.J. Hardy said. ''It's hard to think that after how many games we've played since then, we're not going, so yeah, it's tough.''
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman gave up one run, five hits and a walk in seven innings. He tied a career high with nine strikeouts and left with a 2-1 lead, but the bullpen immediately gave up the advantage in the eighth.
Reyes greeted Kevin Gausman with a single and reached third with one out before Lawrie struck out on a 3-2 pitch. DeRosa pinch hit for Adam Lind and delivered an opposite-field bloop single off Brian Matusz to knot the score at 2.
Vying for his fourth straight win for the Blue Jays, starter Todd Redmond had a decent outing - except for two pitches, the ones Brian Roberts and Nate McLouth sent over the scoreboard in right field in the third inning.
''They were supposed to be outside fastballs,'' the right-hander said. ''I pulled one back to McLouth and he got that one good. The 3-2 pitch to Roberts was just down the middle.''
Redmond allowed two runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings.
''I didn't have my best stuff compared to my last couple of outings but I tried to give the guys a chance to win,'' he said. ''The offense came through and we did.''
Toronto got a second-inning run when Ryan Goins hit a two-out RBI single. In the bottom half, the Orioles loaded the bases with one out but failed to score.
In the third, however, Roberts and McLouth connected within a span of three pitches to put Baltimore up 2-1. It was the fifth time this season the Orioles hit back-to-back homers, the second time against the Blue Jays.
NOTES: An MRI on the left knee of Orioles 3B Manny Machado revealed no major ligament tears, and he could be running within two months. Machado was carted off the field after the injury occurred Monday against Tampa Bay. He was in the dugout and received an ovation when shown on the scoreboard. ... RHP Bud Norris takes the mound for the Orioles on Wednesday night against Toronto RHP Esmil Rogers. ... Toronto RF Moises Sierra left in the sixth inning after catching his spikes on the outfield grass chasing down a fly ball. ... The Orioles have gone 21 straight games without scoring more than five runs. The last time that happened was in 1992. ... DeRosa is 6 for 20 with eight RBIs as a pinch-hitter.