TORONTO – George Springer’s pinch-hit RBI single to ignite a six-run seventh inning and, a remarkable return from pitcher Ross Stripling, pushed the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Blue Jays (62-54), who won for just the third time in 11 outings.
The Orioles (61-56) only lost their fifth in 15 games in August, but they fell 1 1/2 games behind Toronto in the battle for the American League’s third and final wild-card spot.
With Stripling in the dugout after a brilliant one-hit, 6 1/3 innings, the Blue Jays sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh inning.
Teoscar Hernandez and Bo Bichette started with singles to centre field. Springer then hit for Raimel Tapia and delivered a third straight safety to centre to score Hernandez.
Santiago Espinal, who had three hits on Tuesday, drilled a double to right centre to score two more runs.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. walked with the bases loaded, and Alejandro Kirk smashed a double into the left-centre gap to knock in the fifth and sixth runs.
Joey Krehbiel (4-4) yielded the first two hits of the eighth for the loss, but Cionel Perez gave up the Springer single and Espinal double.
Cedric Mullins broke up Stripling’s no-hit bid with a single to centre to leadoff the seventh inning.
Stripling had seven strikeouts, two fly-ball outs and nine groundouts. He induced Anthony Santander into an eighth groundout to first before giving way to reliever Yimi Garcia (2-4), who earned the win.
Stripling (right hip strain) had a 67-pitch, five-inning rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo last Friday. He managed 72 pitches against the Orioles in his first outing for Toronto since July 30.
Baltimore starter Austin Voth was solid, too. He allowed only two hits and three runners in his six innings with three strikeouts. Toronto’s Danny Jansen knocked a two-out single to right in the third, and Kirk was issued a two-out walk in the fourth.
Bichette belted a leadoff double down the left-field line in the fifth but was stranded on second after Tapia and Espinal flew out to left, and Jansen fouled out to his catching counterpart Robinson Chirinos.
Chirinos knocked in the Orioles’ only run in the eighth inning with an infield hit before 40,141 at Rogers Centre.
VETERAN TSUTSUGO SIGNS
The Blue Jays signed Yoshi Tsutsugo to a minor-league contract. He was expected to play left field for Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Tsutsugo, a lefthanded hitting outfielder/first baseman, was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates last week after a .171 average with two homers and 19 RBI in 50 games this year.
The Blue Jays hit the road for a seven-game stint, beginning with a four-game series against the New York Yankees and finishing with a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox.
Righty Jose Berrios (8-5) will start the opener at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. The Yankees have yet to name their pitcher, but it’s Frankie Montas’ (4-9) turn in the rotation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.
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