Opening Day has finally arrived. What better way to start a new baseball season by having a rematch of last season’s American League Wild Card Game.
The bottom of the third inning was when things started to pick up. Orioles right fielder Seth Smith hit a leadoff double over Kevin Pillar’s head in centre field. Chris Davis would then hit a long drive off the right field wall and Smith would score from second, but Jose Bautista threw out Davis who attempted to stretch a single into a double. Mark Trumbo would hit a double into the right field corner to score Adam Jones. The Blue Jays found themselves down 2-0 through three innings.
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The Blue Jays had the opportunity to capitalize in the top of the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Kendrys Morales walked on a 3-2 count that would drive in their first run of the year. Troy Tulowitzki had a great battle at the plate against Gausman that ended with a groundout to third base. The Blue Jays left the bases loaded and trailed the Orioles 2-1.
The Blue Jays continued their rally from the fifth into the top of the sixth. Ezequiel Carerra ripped a double down the right field line to score Steve Pearce, who ran from first to tie it up 2-2. After running to second, it looked like Carrera rolled his right ankle but he walked it off and stayed in the game.
Estrada pitched a wonderful game for his first career Opening Day start. The 33-year old pitched six innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and picking up four strikeouts. Estrada also retired the last 10 batters before Joe Biagini would come into the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Biagini would retire the first five batters he faced before Manny Machado hit a single. Lefty J.P. Howell would come into the game, making his Blue Jays debut. Howell would get the last out of the inning, as he struck out Chris Davis to close the frame.
Darwin Barney would come into pinch-hit for Carrera in the top of the ninth- he also took over in left field. He would strike out, though Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson would both hit singles with a runner in scoring position. They couldn’t capitalize on the advantage as Bautista hit a groundball double play to finish the top half of the inning.
Joe Smith would come into the game in the bottom of the ninth, also making his Blue Jays debut. They would send it to extra innings after a fantastic diving catch by Bautista saved the Blue Jays from losing the game.
Smith would get two quick outs in the bottom of the 10th. Aaron Loup would come in before giving up a groundball single to Trey Mancini. Jason Grilli would come into the game and send it to the eleventh inning.
In the bottom of the 11th, more positional changes were made as Justin Smoak came into pinch-hit and play at first, while Steve Pearce was moved to left field.
Mark Trumbo would win the game for the Orioles with a walk-off homer. The Orioles defeated the Blue Jays with a final score of 3-2. The ironic ending will give the Blue Jays an extra day to think about that walk-off homer- similar to what happened in the Wild Card game last season.