TORONTO — Back-to-back home runs by Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman in the fifth inning pushed the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-2 win over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Baltimore (61-55) won 10 of 14 in August to climb within a half game behind Toronto for the third and final spot in the American League playoffs. The Blue Jays (61-54) have just two wins in their last 10 outings.
With the game tied 2-2 after homers, the Orioles scored for two more in the sixth inning against Toronto starter Alek Manoah (12-6).
Terrin Vavra was walked on. He advanced to second on a pitch to second and scored on a Ramon Urias single to center.
Urias moved up to second when Blue Jays outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. missed his blooper and scored on Ryan McKenna’s right-field single past Toronto reliever Anthony Bass.
Toronto right fielder Teoscar Hernandez had a shot to send Urias out, but receiver Alejandro Kirk failed to handle the one-hopper.
Orioles starter Dean Kremer (5-4) threw seven solid innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out six on walks.
Manoah went 5 2/3 innings in his 107-pitch effort for four runs, four hits, four walks and seven strikeouts.
Santiago Espinal had three hits for Toronto.
George Springer started the first inning with a fielder hit and scored on team-leading Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s 25th homer, this one to left field.
Manoah put the homer blazer on Guerrero. The Toronto starter gave up two early walks and Mullins reached base on an error by Guerrero. But Manoah had a no-hitter until Rougned Odor hit a two-out single to right field in the fourth inning.
After a pair of long balls to center and right field to start the fifth inning, Mullins and rookie receiver Rutschman chained back-to-back home runs to tie the game.
The Blue Jays had a great opportunity to add to their 2-0 advantage in the third, but Matt Chapman threw a double play with loaded bases to end the inning.
NOTHING TO SHOW FOR BO
Bo Bichette’s struggles continued. The Blue Jays shortstop went 0 for 3 with three outs on the ground.
Bichette was moved up to seventh in the batting order after having been fourth or fifth since interim manager John Schneider replaced Charlie Montoyo last month.
“You just have to shake things up, give guys different looks and see how it goes,” Schneider said.
The 37,940 people at Rogers Center greeted Odor with jeers every time he made an appearance on this series.
Six years ago, the second baseman sparked a fight when he punched former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista in the face for a hard slide to second during a May 2016 game in Texas, while ‘Odor was a member of the Rangers.
He also came up against Bautista’s bat-flip home run in the 2015 American League Division Series.
Blue Jays right-hander Ross Stripling (5-3) returns to the mound for the series finale against Baltimore’s Austin Voth (3-1) on Wednesday afternoon. Stripling (right glute/hip) hasn’t started for Toronto since a 5-3 home win over the Detroit Tigers on July 30.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 16, 2022.
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