Blue Jays claim walk-off win over Orioles
Edwin Encarnacion blasted a walk-off home run as the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Baltimore Orioles in their wildcard game.
Encarnacion crushed an Ubaldo Jimenez pitch to left field in the bottom of the 11th inning at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday.
It gave the Blue Jays a thrilling 5-2 victory in the American League wildcard game.
Marcus Stroman gave Toronto six strong innings, while Josh Donaldson went two-for-five.
Mark Trumbo's two-run homer in the fourth had put the Orioles ahead before the tight finish.
The Orioles had the most defensive runs saved from double plays of any team in MLB during the regular season and caught a huge break with three such plays in critical moments. In the fifth inning, after Buck Showalter pulled starter Chris Tillman, leadoff batter Devon Travis grounded into a double play on the first pitch from reliever Mychal Givens, who pitched 2.1 scoreless. Travis later grounded into another double play in the bottom of the eighth while Russell Martin hit into the third of the game an inning later.
Jimenez pitching during the clutch but not Zach Britton? The Cy Young Award candidate did not make a pitching appearance despite the game being tied from the fifth inning. Jimenez, meanwhile, reverted back to his early-season struggles, giving up the walk-off homer in the 11th much like he did in May and June where he allowed a 7.81 ERA. For Encarnacion, the walk-off hit was no surprise. Of Encarnacion's career-high 158 hits during the regular season, 76 have gone for extra bases (34 doubles, 42 homers). The slugger finished the regular season second in MLB with 127 RBIs.
With the Blue Jays' win, we finally get to witness the anticipated rematch between the Texas Rangers and Blue Jays following Rougned Odor's vicious punch to Bautista's jaw back in May. The best-of-five Division Series begins on Thursday in Arlington.
ENCARNACION WALKS OFF
Encarnacion did the damage with a monster blast to left field.
GIANTS, METS DO BATTLE
Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets must find a way to stop Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants as aces duel at Citi Field on Wednesday in the National League wildcard game.