Blue Jays dominate Orioles, take over the A.L. East
The Toronto Blue Jays left no doubt on Saturday afternoon, jumping all over the Baltimore Orioles in a 9-1 win to claim first place in the American League East.
Happ looked as good as he ever has in Toronto, striking out the side in the seventh inning to give him 11 on the day, tied for his season-high. The left-hander threw seven strong and allowed just three hits, with the only damage against him coming on a Pedro Alvarez solo home run in the second.
The Blue Jays let Orioles’ starter Yovani Gallardo off the hook in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with just one out but failing to capitalize as Troy Tulowitzki popped out and Russell Martin struck out.
Gallardo held them in check until the bottom of the fifth, when Devon Travis belted a frozen rope over the wall in left-centre field. Following back-to-back walks to Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion pulled a double down the left-field line.
Following an intentional walk to Michael Saunders that loaded the bases, Tulowitzki walked to put the Blue Jays up 3-1 before a Russell Martin double off the right-field wall brought home two more to crack the game open.
Kevin Pillar piled on, doubling down the left-field line to give the Blue Jays a seven-run inning in the sixth. His next time up in the seventh, Pillar drove in two with another double to put Toronto out front 9-1. His four RBI on the afternoon tied a career high.
Joe Biagini entered the game in the seventh with a man on first and loaded the bases, but forced an out at home plate and a fly ball out before handing over to Brett Cecil, who kept the inning scoreless by getting Chris Davis. Jesse Chavez got back in track with a clean ninth inning.
The series finale will be a Sunday afternoon start at 1:07 p.m. ET with Aaron Sanchez (11-1, 2.72 ERA) scheduled to face Chris Tillman (14-3, 3.47 ERA).