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Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer, Aaron Sanchez struck out 10 and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Tuesday night in the opener of their AL wild-card showdown.
David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger
Good news for the Tigers and Mariners as the Blue Jays beat the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez, who recorded 10 K's -- eight of those coming on his fastball, a season best. Sanchez is slated to next go on Sunday, but the Jays hope to have a spot clinched by then so he'll be ready for the wild-card game.
Intrigue north of the border
Have you checked those American League wild-card standings lately? Allow us to refresh your memory: the Blue Jays entered Tuesday just one game ahead of Orioles. And guess which two teams play each other over the next three days in Toronto? Baseball's final week madness
Lineup: Blue Jays (86-70) vs. Orioles (85-71)
- 1. Ezequiel Carrera, LF (L)
- 2. Josh Donaldson, 3B (R)
- 3. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B (R)
- 4. Jose Bautista, DH (R)
- 5. Russell Martin, C (R)
- 6. Troy Tulowitzki, SS (R)
- 7. Michael Saunders, RF (L)
- 8. Kevin Pillar, CF (R)
- 9. Darwin Barney, 2B (R)
- SP: Aaron Sanchez, RHP
Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit tore his left calf during a benches-clearing incident against the Yankees on Monday and is out for at least the rest of the regular season.
Blue Jays' bullpen failing them of late
In its last 14 games, Toronto has received excellent starting pitching overshadowed by the subpar performance of its relievers. Such was the case Monday, as J.A. Happ went 7 1/3 strong innings before the bullpen imploded in the ninth.
Which Blue Jays have mastered spin rate?
Spin rate is a relatively new factor of pitching being explored, but those who do it best are finding success. Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez are among pitchers with the highest spin rates on curveballs. Why spin rate matters (Insider)
Orioles enjoy a good day off
The O's didn't take the field on Monday, but their wild-card chances improved due to losses by the Blue Jays and Tigers. The Mariners beat the Astros, sending Houston's postseason hopes to the brink.
Jason Grilli givng Jays reason to worry
For the second time this month, Grilli, Toronto's primary setup man, endured a meltdown outing against the Yankees, allowing four runs both times. The good news: It's unlikely that he'll face New York in the playoffs. What we learned Monday
Game of the day: Blue Jays vs. Orioles
Aaron Sanchez against Kevin Gausman is an intriguing pitching matchup, but, more importantly, there's pressure on the Blue Jays to win after Monday's loss. The O's are just a game back in the wild-card standings. Schoenfield: Daily wild-card watch (Insider)
Carlos Delgado, who in 2004 mounted his own protest, says he thinks Colin Kaepernick is "tying what he thinks it should represent for the African-American community."
Jays' loss drops Red Sox's magic number to 1
Boston will have a chance to clinch the AL East on Tuesday when it visits the Yankees, after Toronto fell 7-5 to New York on Monday. Box score
Mark Teixeira hit a tying homer in the ninth inning and Aaron Hicks added a game-winning blast as the New York Yankees avoided a four-game sweep, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 on Monday.
A beanball war between the Yankees and Blue Jays resulted in two bench-clearing incidents Monday night and multiple ejections.
Blue Jays hold steady in Power Rankings
The Jays have a decent lead in the AL wild-card race and will host the Orioles in a key three-game series starting Tuesday. After that is a trip to Boston, where the Red Sox could still be fighting for top seed in the American League. Week 25 Power Rankings
Eight teams. Four open spots. One wild week. Here's who will still be playing after Sunday.
Big series ahead for Orioles, Blue Jays
The two AL wild-card leaders will face off in Toronto starting Tuesday. The three-game set figures to have a postseason feel, with each game being must-win for both teams. Buster Olney breaks down the matchup. Key final-week series (Insider)
Jays, Orioles pulling away in wild card
The Blue Jays beat the Yankees in three straight over the weekend and the O's swept the D-backs, allowing both teams to create a gap in the wild-card standings. The Tigers' loss on Sunday nearly cut their playoff chances in half (50 percent entering the day).
Ezequiel Carrera drove in the tying run with a squeeze bunt in the ninth inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit a winning single and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 4-3 Sunday.
On Base Percentage.3306th
Earned Run Average3.817th
Blue Jays vs Orioles
Rogers Centre - Wed 9/28