Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays drop finale in extras: Two out of three ain’t bad

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Jul 31, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch during the first inning in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch during the first inning in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays couldn’t capitalize on another strong start from Aaron Sanchez Sunday afternoon, dropping the final game of their series 6-2 to the Balimore Orioles in 12 innings. Toronto now falls back to a half-game behind the Orioles in the American League East.

Sanchez gave the Blue Jays seven innings with just two runs and four hits against. The young right-hander struck out three and walked two, forcing nine ground ball outs. With the start, Sanchez lowered his AL-leading ERA to 2.71.

Toronto’s offence got rolling in the second inning with a Russell Martin double as the catcher has been swinging a better bat throughout July. Kevin Pillar legged out an infield single to move Martin to third, and he was eventually brought home by Devon Travis who beat out a double play on a ground ball to the right side.

Troy Tulowitzki made it 2-0 with his 18th home run of the season in the fourth, a towering shot to left field that travelled an estimated 433 feet and hit the facing of the fifth deck. Later in the afternoon, Tulowitzki took a pitch off his hand and originally stayed in the game, but did not come out defensively in the eighth inning.

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The Orioles were held off the scoreboard until the seventh. Following a Mark Trumbo double to put runners on second and third, a Pedro Alvarez ground ball and Matt Wieters sacrifice fly brought home one run each.

Recent trade acquisition Joaquin Benoit entered in the eighth inning, allowing just an infield single in a scoreless frame of work after the Blue Jays lost their DH for the second time this series. Roberto Osuna handled the ninth, striking out a pair and forcing a weak fly ball.

Toronto turned to Jason Grilli in the 10th, who issued a leadoff walk but escaped the inning unharmed. Brett Cecil followed in the 11th then handed off to fellow left-hander Franklin Morales for the 12th. Morales walked the first batter he faced and was called for a balk soon after, leading to an RBI single from Jonathan Schoop to score the winning run. Following another walk, Morales was lifted for Jesse Chavez, who surrendered a three-run home run to Adam Jones on his first pitch.

On Monday, the Blue Jays travel to Houston to open a four-game road series against the Astros with Marcus Stroman (8-4, 4.91 ERA) scheduled to pitch.

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