Blue Jays blast Orioles in Buffalo, 10-5

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde expressed a simple desire in the hours before his club began its final series of 2020’s truncated regular season.

“I’d just like to see us play well the last three games,” Hyde said.

His wish went ungranted in the first of the trio Friday. The Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Orioles, 10-5, to open the three-game set, being played at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y., after the Canadian government declined to allow the Blue Jays to play their home games at Rogers Centre.

Despite their nomadism, the Blue Jays’ dominant victory served as an afterparty for Thursday, when they clinched one of the American League’s eight playoff spots. The Orioles (24-34) were 1 1/2 games outside of playoff position two weeks ago but have gone 4-13 since.

Randal Grichuk began the second inning with a solo shot off Jorge Lopez, his 18th homer in 38 career games against Baltimore. Six have come this season, while he has five against other teams in 2020.

Six of the next eight Blue Jays reached off Lopez, four via singles with a walk and hit batter each, before the right-hander struck out Grichuk to end the six-run frame.

Lopez returned for the third and quickly surrendered three more singles, prompting Hyde to end his night after two-plus innings. In his final outing of 2020, Lopez allowed eight runs, raising his ERA in six starts with Baltimore since being claimed on waivers from the Kansas City Royals to 6.14.

In the fourth, Travis Shaw added a two-run home run off Thomas Eshelman, who worked four innings of long relief behind Lopez. Branden Kline added two scoreless innings, getting help from center fielder Cedric Mullins’ leaping catch at the wall.

On the other side, right-hander Taijuan Walker pitched three perfect innings in a tune-up start before the Blue Jays’ first playoff series. In the fifth, Ramon Urias went the other way against Shun Yamaguchi for his first major league homer, giving him hits in all four games since his latest promotion from the Bowie alternate site. Mullins followed with a solo shot for the Orioles’ sixth pair of back-to-back home runs in 2020.

Having not shown much power this season despite being one of the Orioles’ most productive hitters, Jose Iglesias homered for the second straight game, taking Yamaguchi deep in the sixth. Hanser Alberto added an RBI double in the frame.

Alberto and Ryan Mountcastle were the only Orioles with more than one hit. Mountcastle has 13 multi-hit performances in 33 career games.


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