Clear
72 ° F
Full Weather
Sponsored By:

Adley Rutschman’s 2-run homer in bottom of the 9th helps Orioles avoid sweep in 3-2 win over Toronto

Sponsored by:

BALTIMORE (AP) — Adley Rutschman’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Baltimore a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, enabling the Orioles — yet again — to avoid a sweep.

Baltimore split the two-game set with the Blue Jays — the middle game Tuesday was rained out — and has now gone 105 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions without being swept. That’s tied for the third-longest run in major league history.

The Orioles were swept in last year’s AL Division Series against Texas, but the most recent time it happened in the regular season was from May 13-15, 2022, at Detroit. The streak almost ended exactly two years later, but after defensive replacement Isiah Kiner-Falefa misplayed Jordan Westburg’s grounder for an infield single to start the Baltimore ninth, Rutschman connected off Jordan Romano.

“I think it says a lot about our team,” Rutschman said. “It’s always guys just picking each other up and continuing to progress, and just have each other’s backs. It’s a fun group to be a part of.”

Rutschman’s drive was reviewed — the ball appeared to deflect off a fan who was reaching out above the big wall in right field — but the homer was upheld. Romano (1-1) blew a save for the first time in seven chances this year.

“Adley’s having a nice stretch of hitting right now and put a great swing on a tough closer,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

Danny Coulombe (1-0) pitched the top of the ninth.

Westburg led off the first with a homer, but the Orioles didn’t score again until Rutschman went deep for the ninth time this season.

Bo Bichette hit a two-run double in the third inning, and the Toronto bullpen worked through big jams in the seventh and eighth.

Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi struck out nine in 4 1/3 innings. Zach Pop, Génesis Cabrera, Yimi García and Tim Mayza held the lead until the ninth.

García entered in a second-and-third, nobody out situation in the seventh. He struck out Westburg, intentionally walked Rutschman and retired Ryan Mountcastle and Gunnar Henderson on a popup and a grounder.

García, who lowered his ERA on the season to 0.53, allowed a leadoff double to Anthony Santander in the eighth. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to third, Colton Cowser was intentionally walked and James McCann tried to squeeze home the tying run.

It took McCann three bunt attempts to get the ball in play, and it went to first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who threw home to retire Santander on a close play that was upheld after a review. Mayza then came on and struck out pinch-hitter Ramón Urías.

The Orioles moved Westburg into the leadoff spot and dropped Henderson to fourth in the order, and Westburg gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field shot.

With men on first and third and two out in the third, Bichette — who went 5 for 7 with two walks in this series — hit a drive to deep right that Santander got a glove on but couldn’t catch. Both runners scored.

The Orioles’ streak of avoiding sweeps is tied for third in major league history, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau via the team. The 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124 series), the 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115) and the 1903-05 New York Giants (105) also had runs this long.

The Orioles also extended their streak to 17 consecutive non-losing series against AL East opponents, and they remained one of three teams without a three-game losing streak this season. The Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies have not had a three-game skid yet in 2024 either, with Chicago entering Wednesday night’s game at Atlanta on a two-game slide.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OFs George Springer and Kevin Kiermaier (illnesses) and C Danny Jansen (back spasms) returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s game. Justin Turner, who also missed that game because of an illness, pinch-hit in the sixth and stayed in as the DH.

Orioles: OF Austin Hays entered as a pinch-hitter and doubled in the seventh, his first appearance in nearly a month. Hays had been on the injured list with a left calf strain.

UP NEXT

The Orioles and Blue Jays both have Thursday off. Baltimore hosts Seattle on Friday night, and Toronto hosts Tampa Bay.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer

Feedback