Oct. 05, 2016
Blue Jays advance to the ALDS
For the second straight year, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers will face off in the ALDS. The Blue Jays defeated Baltimore last night with a thrilling 5-2 walk off victory thanks to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. The game needed extra innings, but an 11th inning three run homer from Encarnacion lifted the Blue Jays to their second straight ALDS appearance.
The game got underway with a pitchers duel, as both Marcus Stroman and Chris Tillman started strong leaving the game scoreless until the second inning. In the second inning, Jose Bautista broke the deadlock with a solo HR to left field, erupting the Rogers Centre. Tillman settled down after giving up the HR, and the Jays lead was soon taken away from them as Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homerun to left field, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead. The Jays quickly leveled the score after Ezequiel Carrera hit a single to centre, scoring Michael Saunders in the bottom of the fifth. The intensity of the game increased, and left both sides frustrated and unable to take full control of the game. The Blue Jays left runners stranded on base after Russell Martin grounded into an inning ending double play. The Blue Jays used relievers Brett Cecil, Joe Biagini, Jason Grilli, Roberto Osuna, and finally Francisco Liriano throughout the game. Roberto Osuna was forced to leave the game with what the Jays are calling shoulder tightness. The Orioles used relievers Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Brad Brach, Darren O'Day, Brian Duensing, and finally Ubaldo Jimenez. The Orioles Duensing faced Ezequiel Carrera to start the 11th, and after the Carrera out, Jimenez was brought in to face the top of the order, where he saw both Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back singles, setting the stage for Edwin Encarnacion who crushed the first pitch Jimenez threw to left field to walk off the Orioles and send the Jays to the ALDS.
The Toronto Blue Jays will face the Texas Rangers in an ALDS rematch from last year. The Rangers and Blue Jays saw the bases empty twice in last years game five, and once this season in Texas where Roughned Odor was suspended for starting a brawl by punching Jose Bautista in the face. There is a lot of bad blood between these two teams, and this rivalry will be renewed in what will be an emotional ALDS rematch. Game one of the ALDS will be on Thursday at 4:38PM in Texas.