Cedric Mullins has RBIs in 10th, 11th innings to lift Orioles over Blue Jays 8-3
TORONTO — Cedric Mullins had a two-run double as part of a five-run 11th inning as the Baltimore Orioles downed the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 on Sunday.
Mullins also had an RBI single in the 10th as Baltimore (31-16) won its fourth straight. Austin Hays had an RBI single and Terrin Vavra drove in two more in the 11th, while Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander also drove in runs in the third.
Dean Kremer gave up nine hits and two walks but limited the Blue Jays to just one run, striking out seven over 5 1/2 innings.
Cionel Perez, Mychal Givens, Danny Coulombe, Austin Voth and Mike Baumann came out of the Orioles bullpen, with Baumann earning the win.
Matt Chapman had a home run and a sacrifice fly and Toronto (25-22) dropped its fourth in a row. Whit Merrifield's RBI single in the 10th inning kept the Blue Jays alive and rookie left-fielder Nathan Lukes had his first hit in Major League Baseball after eight seasons in the minor leagues.
Kevin Gausman gave up two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out four over eight innings in a no decision. Nate Pearson, Yimi Garcia and Anthony Bass came on in relief, with Garcia taking the loss.
A 10-game homestand at Rogers Centre promised an early-season test for the Blue Jays as they hosted the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves, and divisional rivals in the New York Yankees and Orioles.
Toronto started on a high note with a three-game sweep of Atlanta, but then dropped three of four to the Yankees before Baltimore earned the three-game sweep.
Going 4-6 at home dropped the Blue Jays into fifth in the American League East as they head to Tampa Bay on Monday to face the division-leading Rays for a four-game series.
Chapman hit a home run at Rogers Centre for the first time since April 11 to lead off the second inning. The 420-foot blast off of Kremer also ended a 28-game homerless skid for Chapman that dated back to April 18 when he had a solo shot in Toronto's 4-2 win in Houston.
Baltimore took the lead in the next inning by grinding out a couple of runs.
Rutschman got the first run across when he grounded out. Although Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield made an impressive rolling throw from his knees to get Rutschman at first, Joey Ortiz had plenty of time to cross home.
In the next at-bat, Santander hit into a fielder's choice with Mullins capitalizing on the play at first to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Kevin Kiermaier made a highlight-reel catch in the fourth inning, leaping and reaching out with his glove to the very highest part of the outfield wall to rob Gunnar Henderson of a surefire double.
The sold-out crowd of 41,643 gave Kiermaier a rousing ovation as a replay aired on the ballpark's video screen. Gausman also saluted Kiermaier from the mound on what easily could have been a run-scoring hit with Austin Hays already on first thanks to a walk.
Toronto threatened to take the lead in the sixth when, with one out, pinch-hitter Danny Jansen drew a walk to load the bases. Kiermaier then came to the plate and hit into a double-play to end the inning.
The Blue Jays tied it 2-2 in another bases-loaded situation in the seventh when Chapman hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field, allowing George Springer to score from third.
Mullins led off the 10th inning with a single to right field, scoring Jorge Mateo, who started the extra frame on second.
Merrifield kept the Blue Jays alive, however, with his one-out single in the bottom of the 10th cashing in Daulton Varsho, who also started the inning at second, to tie it 3-3.
Hays had his RBI single with one out and two on, scoring Ryan McKenna, who started the inning on second. Henderson loaded the bases with a single in the next at-bat, with Vavra's single scoring Adam Frazier and Hays.
That brought Mullins to bat for the second time in as many innings. He stroked a double to deep right-centre to score Vavra and Henderson for an 8-3 Orioles lead.
ON DECK — Chris Bassitt takes his 5-2 record to the mound as the Blue Jays open up a four-game series in Tampa Bay.
Josh Fleming (0-0) goes for the Rays for the 6:40 p.m. ET start.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2023.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press