Bullpen masterclass, clutch bomb from Brandon Belt lead Blue Jays to win in Baltimore
Photo credit:© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
For the first time this season, the Blue Jays kicked off a series against Baltimore with a win.
Yusei Kikuchi didn’t have his best outing but the bullpen was dominant for five innings in relief before Brandon Belt hit a go-ahead two-run bomb in the top of the 10th inning. Blue Jays 6, Orioles 3.
Things worth mentioning…
- The Blue Jays got their bats going early in this game. Baltimore went up in the first inning but Daulton Varsho answered back in the top of the second with a two-run bomb off of Grayson Rodriguez. In the fourth, they went up 3-1 after Kevin Kiermaier drove in Matt Chapman from second with a double.
- Yusei Kikuchi allowed a run in the first inning and then shut them down until the fifth frame when Baltimore mounted a rally their third time through the batting order. All told Kikuchi went four-and-two-thirds innings and scattered three earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six. Kikuchi got the first two batters of the fifth inning to 0-2 counts but couldn’t put either of them away.
- John Schneider opted to pull Kikuchi from the game with two outs in the fifth following his first walked batter of the game. Yimi Garcia came in and allowed a game-tying double to Jordan Westburg but managed to get out of the inning without letting the O’s pull ahead.
- Toronto’s bullpen was pretty much untouchable after that. Trevor Richards tossed a scoreless sixth, Jordan Hicks was spotless in the seventh, Erik Swanson struck out the side in the eighth, and Tim Mayza worked around a leadoff single to get through the ninth.
- Baltimore’s bullpen was mowing through the Blue Jays as well. Ace closer Felix Bautista only took nine pitches to shut the Blue Jays down in the top of the ninth but the Orioles opted not to bring him back out for the 10th. In incredibly Ubaldo Jimenez fashion, Mike Baumann came in and got torched. Brandon Belt hit the first pitch that he saw for a two-run bomb and then Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smashed the next pitch into the outfield for a double.
- Vladdy wound up coming around to score on a passed ball later in the inning to put the Blue Jays up by a score of 6-3. Jordan Romano came into the game and cruised to his 31st save of the season.
- The Blue Jays will go for the series win on Wednesday with Kevin Gausman going up against Jack Flaherty, Baltimore’s trade deadline addition.
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