BALTIMORE — With their grip on the final Wild Card spot gone at the start of their latest series tonight, the Toronto Blue Jays just so happened to be facing the team that has inflicted more pain against them than any other so far this season. Brandon Belt made sure on Tuesday night that the beginning of the team’s last series against its personal bogeyman ended with a flourish.
Belt cracked a two-run home run on the first pitch of the 10th inning, the start of a three-run inning in the Blue Jays’ 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Daulton Varsho hit a two-run home run in the second inning while Toronto’s bullpen combined to toss 5 1/3 scoreless innings as the Blue Jays won for just the third time in 11 meetings so far this season against Baltimore.
Baltimore’s two-headed bullpen monster of Yennier Canó and Félix Bautista navigated the Orioles through a scoreless eighth and ninth inning respectively, but Toronto pounced immediately on Mike Baumann, who came on to begin the extra frame. Going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before his final at-bat, Belt wasted no-time getting the automatic runner home to begin the inning, sending the first pitch from Baumann 417 feet into the right-field bleachers to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead.
Toronto added another run in the frame when Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who doubled off of Baumann immediately after Belt’s homer, scored on wild pitch with two outs.
Austin Hays doubled with two outs in the first inning for the Orioles, bringing home Gunnar Henderson for the first run of the game. All three of Baltimore’s runs came with two outs, including the two it scored in the fifth inning to tie the game at 3. A successful double steal by Jorge Mateo and Adley Rutschman saw the former eventually score from third on a throwing error from catcher Danny Jansen when he tried to throw out the trail runner, Rutschman, at second base. After an Austin Hays walk, Jordan Westburg soon followed with a double down the left-field line off new pitcher Yimi Garcia to even the score.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s contest, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Elliott Brown. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 27 pictures in total.