As the road team in extra innings, scoring one run is often not enough. Saturday’s win was the exception thanks to the heroics of Félix Bautista.
Playing in extras again Sunday, the Orioles in the 10th scored just one — the automatic runner placed at second — and the Toronto Blue Jays did the same. Terrin Vavra wouldn’t let that happen again.
After Austin Hays’ RBI single gave Baltimore another one-run lead, Brandon Hyde called on Vavra to pinch-hit, and he rewarded his manager with a two-run single amid the Orioles’ five-run 11th inning to beat the Blue Jays, 8-3.
“Especially in this division, games are hard-fought. It takes everybody in the clubhouse to get a win, and today was just a prime example of that,” Vavra said.
Vavra jumped on the first pitch he saw from Yimi García and lined the 95 mph fastball to center field to score Adam Frazier and Hays, two veterans who combined for five hits. Cedric Mullins, whose RBI single in the 10th was the reason the Orioles had another chance in the 11th, then put a cherry on top of the win with a two-run double to right-center field to score Vavra and Gunnar Henderson.
“It was huge,” Mullins said of the five-run 11th. “Typically, during an extra-inning game, if you’re the away team, you need two [runs] to win. For us to break it out right there and give [Mike] Baumann a little room to work with at the end was huge.”
Mullins went 5-for-6 with three RBIs in the win. On the season, the center fielder leads the team in OPS (.867) and RBIs (38).
“He’s just playing an unbelievable brand of baseball right now, on both sides,” Hyde said. “Defense is incredible, Gold Glove defender. And just hitting rockets all over the field and getting huge hits for us, driving in runs, just doing everything.”
The sweep is Baltimore’s first over the Blue Jays in a three-game series since 2018. The last time the Orioles swept Toronto at Rogers Centre was in 2005. At 31-16, the Orioles are 15 games over .500 for the first time since 2016. They still have the second-best record in the major leagues and are just 2 1/2 games back of the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays for first in the American League East.
“In order to sweep, a lot of things have to go your way, and we were able to dominate those moments,” Mullins said. “AL East is also a difficult division. For us to pull a sweep off today kind of shows where we are as a team.”
With Bautista and setup man Yennier Cano largely unavailable after pitching Friday and Saturday, Hyde turned to his middle relievers to carry the load after starting pitcher Dean Kremer went 5 1/3 innings. Cionel Pérez, Mychal Givens, Danny Coulombe, Austin Voth and Baumann combined to throw 5 2/3 innings in relief, allowing just three hits and two runs (one earned).
“Every guy that came in played a part of the win tonight,” Kremer said. “It was a huge team win.”
Hyde also used every position player on his roster, with Vavra as his final call to the bench.
“Just an incredible effort from everybody today,” Hyde said. “I emptied the whole bench, I used every pitcher we had available and we get a sweep on the road.”
Both of Toronto’s runs before extras came off the bat of third baseman Matt Chapman. In the second inning, he homered off Kremer, hammering a sinker that caught too much of the plate 420 feet to left-center field. He then tied the game in the seventh on a sacrifice fly off reliever Givens, who was making his season debut out of the Orioles’ bullpen after returning from the injured list.
After Chapman’s solo shot, the Orioles responded with two runs of their own in the third. Shortstop Joey Ortiz doubled off Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single from Mullins, who promptly stole second for his 13th swipe of the season. Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander, the Orioles’ Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, both hit ground balls to bring home a run. Rutschman was robbed of a base hit by second baseman Whit Merrifield, while Santander reached on a fielder’s choice after first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. unadvisedly tried to nab Mullins at home rather than take the easy out at first.
Aside from those instances, both lineups struggled. Kremer was in trouble in almost every inning of his 5 1/3 frames. Meanwhile, Gausman, a first-round pick by Baltimore in 2012 and a member of the Orioles’ pitching staff from 2013 to 2018, was superb, scattering six hits and two walks across eight innings of two-run ball. Kremer, who the Orioles got from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade, joined the organization the same month — July 2018 — that Gausman left when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves.
Kremer’s had an odd 2023 season thus far — entering Sunday with a 5-1 record but a 4.94 ERA — but Sunday’s start might have been his strangest. The right-hander allowed nine hits and two walks, but he gave up just one run and struck out seven. The Blue Jays had a runner in scoring position with fewer than two outs in five of the six innings he pitched in, but none scored. Toronto left 12 runners on base and went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Across the three games this weekend, the Orioles held the Blue Jays to 10 runs.
Pérez relieved Kremer in the sixth and got a bases-loaded double play. After Givens allowed a run in the seventh and Coulombe pitched a scoreless eighth, Voth sent the game to extras with a scoreless ninth. He allowed the automatic runner to score in the 10th on a single from Merrifield, but Baumann replaced Voth and kept the Orioles alive. Baumann then retired the side in order in the 11th for his third win of the season.
Around the horn
- The Orioles travel to New York to take on the Yankees for a three-game series that begins Tuesday. Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells and Kyle Gibson will start for Baltimore against Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt.
- Baltimore will soon have a decision to make on reliever Dillon Tate, whose minor league rehabilitation assignment cannot extend past Wednesday because of a 30-day limit. The right-hander has pitched nine times during his stint that began April 25, allowing 14 runs (12 earned) in 7 2/3 innings between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. Tate is rehabbing a right forearm strain that he sustained in the offseason.
This story will be updated.
Orioles at Yankees
Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
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Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/21/orioles-complete-first-sweep-of-blue-jays-in-toronto-since-2005-with-8-3-win-in-11-innings/