I really don’t want to minimize the recent success that the Blue Jays have had. They’re in the midst of clinching a playoff berth in the next couple of weeks, and they have hit their stride at the right time.
However, there have been several instances this season when the Jays have had an opportunity to sweep a series, but fall short. With the AL East still mathematically within reach, defeating as many teams as they “should beat” can really separate the Jays into a comfortable position. Without diving too deep into the Blue Jays’ schedule, some series that come to mind are the three-game set at Kansas City on June 8th, last week’s series against the Rangers, the Cubs series in late August, and the mid-August series against the Yankees. Those are just a few of the series in which Toronto has come into the last game of the series with a chance to sweep, but didn’t.
Add another one to the list, because despite winning the series, the Blue Jays dropped the series finale to the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 this afternoon, with Jordan Romano blowing his first career save at the Rogers Center in his career. Romano has been incredible this year for the Jays, especially with an increased workload towards the beginning of the season. As frustrating as it is to take the loss, Jordan Romano slander will not be tolerated.
The Blue Jays got another quality start from Alek Manoah, which has honestly become expected this season. Manoah fought off giving up four walks and an inflated pitch count early to go six innings and only allow one earned run. He also had three innings that he worked around having at least two runners on base.
An RBI single from Bo Bichette in the 3rd inning put Toronto ahead 1-0. With runners on base and a chance to put things away early, Matt Chapman lined into a triple play, because of course.
After the Orioles tied the game at 1, solo home runs from Danny Jansen (4th inning) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (7th inning) pushed Toronto’s lead to 3-1, with some of the high leverage arms ready to finish off Manoah’s great start.
Instead, it was Jesus Aguilar flashing his stellar .231 batting average to lead the Orioles back into it. He hit a rocket into the Blue Jays bullpen off of Adam Cimber to trim the Jays lead to one. With Romano in to get the save, he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with no one out. Adley Rutschman singled in two runs, with Aguilar singling in another to end the top of the ninth to give the Orioles a 5-3 lead. Rutschman is really starting to hit his stride against the Jays, including a 2-for-3 performance today.
George Springer smashed an RBI double (that was inches from leaving the yard) in the bottom of the 9th to keep the Jays in it, but they were unable to generate anything else off of Orioles closer Felix Bautista.
It’s Major League Baseball, and no wins are guaranteed. It just would’ve been nice to sweep the Trash Birds as the season starts to wind down.
The Blue Jays finally have an off day, which will come in handy as Alejandro Kirk and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are nursing respective injuries. It also gives the entire pitching staff an opportunity to take a well-deserved breather after playing 11 games in 10 days.
They’ll head to Philadelphia to play a two-game series against the Phillies, with Ross Stripling lined up to face Kyle Gibson in Game 1.