Orioles top Blue Jays 9-6 in heated contest of contenders
BALTIMORE (AP) — Brandon Hyde managed like he was in an elimination game, and Baltimore held on to a big win over Toronto.
In the process, this race between the Orioles and Blue Jays got tough.
Adley Rutschman doubled with the basesloaded in a five-run third inning, and the Orioles recovered on Tuesday-evening with a 9-6 win over Toronto in a heated game in which both benches briefly ran out in the middle of the seventh.
The Orioles drew within 3 1/2 games of Toronto for the final American League wildcard. They were swept by the Blue Jays in a doubleheader Monday that opened this crucial series. The next night, Hyde used three of his best relievers – Dillon Tate (4-3), Cionel Pérez and Félix Bautista – for a combined five innings.
“I thought we had to win the game,” Hyde said. “I tried to do everything I could to try and win the game.”
The Orioles trailed 3-0 before rallied to improve Toronto’s five-game winning streak. Four Baltimore relievers threw six innings together, with Bautista retired the last six for his 12th save.
Bo Bichette homered again for Toronto — his fourth in the last two games — but Mitch White (0-4) was unable to make it through the wild third inning in which he walked three batters and hit a batter.
In the seventh, former Blue Jay Bryan Baker replaced the Orioles and gave up a run that narrowed Baltimore’s lead to 6-5. Then tempers flared when Baker appeared to make a “chirping” signal with his hand toward the Toronto dugout after striking out Matt Chapman for the third out. Banks and bullpens emptied, though order quickly restored.
“I couldn’t understand why Bryan Baker looked into our dugout after giving up on a string of consecutive days,” said Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider.
The Orioles’ attack broke through in the third. They loaded the bases with no one out when White walked two and hit Cedric Mullins. Rutschman’s two-run double made it 3-2, then Anthony Santander tied the score with an RBI groundout.
Ryan Mountcastle singled to bring in a run and White was eliminated on another walk. Gunnar Henderson followed with an RBI single to make it 5-3.
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Kyle Bradish, who made a consecutive scoreless start against Houston and Cleveland, lasted just three innings before Hyde moved to his bullpen.
Tate came in first and third with men and no one out in fourth. He escaped that jam, but gave up an RBI double to Chapman in the fifth. Then Pérez came in and went 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Baltimore added a big run in the sixth when Jorge Mateo tripled with two outs and Mullins drove him in with a single.
Baker allowed the first two Toronto-hitters to reach base in the seventh, but with men on first and third base, Teoscar Hernández – who had homered to Baker in Monday’s first game – ended up in a double play. A run was scored on that play to make it 6-5, but the bases were left empty.
“When I hit the groundball, it stares at me and says, ‘Yeah, yeah,'” Hernández said. “And then he punches Chapman. As soon as he lashes out, he turns into our dugout and starts talking and pointing at me, saying I talked too much. But I wasn’t talking. I said nothing.”
Baker saw it differently, though he said he probably should have handled the situation better.
“It was nothing towards their team or anything like that. It was just to let him know I know he’s talking,” Baker said. “There’s really no problem with the team or anything like that. I don’t think there’s any bad blood or anything like that. I just let him know.”
Schneider was ejected during the bottom of the inning—he said afterwards he had questioned the strike zone—and came out to lend an ear to plate umpire Jeff Nelson.
Trevor Richards gave up a basesloaded walk in the bottom of the eighth to give the Orioles the lead two, then Mountcastle singled in two more runs. The throw from leftfielder Lourdes Gurriel to the plate was in plenty of time to get Rutschman on that play, but the tag was a little late and he was judged safe on a review to make it 9-5.
Bichette had four hits, including a two-run homer in the third to make it 3-0. Chapman had an RBI single in the first.
The start of the game was delayed 17 minutes due to rain.
Schneider’s ejection happened shortly after the bench-clearing incident, but it looked like it had more to do with balls and punches. The Blue Jays have a history of Nelson, who sent then-manager Charlie Montoyo out of an April game after Montoyo questioned his strike zone.
Orioles: Hyde said RHP Jordan Lyles was better but still felt sick. Lyles was scratched into the doubleheader from his start on Monday and is day to day. Baltimore didn’t list him among the likely starters this weekend.
This series ends Wednesday night with Toronto’s Alek Manoah (13-7) facing Baltimore’s Dean Kremer (6-4). These teams have seven games left to play against each other, including that one.
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