TORONTO - The Orioles today drafted left-handed pitcher Brandon Bonilla for the second time. They drafted the 22-year-old Bonilla this afternoon in round 13 out of Hawaii Pacific University.
They also selected him in round 25 in 2014, but failed to sign him then and he went back to school. Bonilla is the son of former Oriole Bobby Bonilla and the godson of Barry Bonds. The sides never came too close on a deal in 2014.
Brandon Bonilla was the closer this year and earned a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s 2016 All-West Region First Team just days after being named to the All-PacWest First Team.
Bonilla went 2-0 with a program-record 12 saves, was tied for fourth nationally in the saves category and led the conference. He struck out 38 over 25 1/3 innings and posted a minuscule 0.36 ERA. He has a fastball that reaches the mid to high 90s and the Orioles have seen him touch 97 this year. The draft will conclude today after the 40th round.
Meanwhile, catcher Francisco Pena is making his fourth start for the Orioles today behind the plate. The Orioles are 3-0 in his first three starts at catcher. Manager Buck Showalter said Pena has been real solid in those games.
“So far, so good,” Showalter said. “He had a lot of energy his first game and then he had a game with his dad (coaching for the Yankees) and I thought that last game would be interesting to see. He handled it real well. I’ve been impressed with him. He was a good sign by our people and he is a good addition. You can tell he’s been around the game. He talks it and he gets it.”
As for this game, Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the second and made it 3-0 by scoring twice in the third off Mike Wright. Thus far, Wright doesn’t have the command he showed Monday against Kansas City. He has walked three and two have scored. Ryan Goins tripled in a run off center fielder Adam Jones’ glove in the second and Toronto scored in the third on an Edwin Encarnacion RBI double and Michael Saunders’ sac fly.
Down 3-0 and retired on just 33 pitches by J.A. Happ through three frames, the O’s quickly tied the score in the fourth. Joey Rickard led off with a homer to left, No. 5 for the rookie. Manny Machado followed with a double and Chris Davis then hit a two-run homer to right on the first pitch. Just like that, it was 3-3.
Davis has now homered in four straight games and has 15 on the year. Davis now has hit 16 career homers in 151 at-bats at Rogers Centre and three in eight at-bats in this series.
Longball for the lead: The O’s seem to like hitting at Rogers Centre. Manny Machado mashed a solo homer to left in the sixth for a 4-3 Orioles lead, their first lead today. Machado hit No. 16 on a 2-2 changeup from Happ.
That was the Orioles’ seventh homer in this series and their 25th over the last 10 games. They began today one off the major league lead with 91 to Seattle’s 92.
Wright started the sixth with that one-run lead at 101 pitches. But he gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Pillar and T.J. McFarland came on to pitch for the Orioles.
That lead didn’t last long: O’s pitching has had a bad day and it got worse when Toronto scored five in the last of the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.
Pinch-hitter Devon Travis produced a sac fly off McFarland for a 4-4 tie. The lefty then walked two batters to load the bases. A deep sac fly by Josh Donaldson made it 5-4 Jays. Edwin Encarnacion then came up with the game’s biggest hit so far. He blasted a three-run homer into the second deck off McFarland for an 8-4 lead. The O’s have some catching up to do at Rogers Centre.
O’s lose: The Orioles went to the top of the eighth down 9-4. They scored twice then to pull within three runs, but they lose 11-6. The Orioles have lost two in a row after a five-game win streak to fall to 36-25 overall, 12-14 on the road and 14-10 versus the American League East.
Wright gave up four runs over five innings and McFarland allowed five runs and five hits over two innings. Brian Duensing gave up two homers in the eighth after the O’s pulled within 9-6.
Encarnacion hit two homers today and drove in five runs. He went 3-for-3 with two walks and has three homers in his last four at-bats counting last night’s walk-off homer in the 10th. He has 16 homers on the year.
Rogers Centre has been a house of horrors for O’s pitching a few times over the years. It was again today. Check back later for postgame quotes.