They scored 11 runs twice yesterday in seven-inning games. And they didn’t slow down even a bit today. The Toronto Blue Jays scored five runs today before a single out was recorded and had two grand slams and a 10-run inning in the first three frames.
The Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle did hit his 28th homer to tie Cal Ripken Jr.’s club rookie homer record, and that was great milestone for Mountcastle. But it came during a 22-7 loss to Toronto as the Blue Jays take the last three games of this series.
After two comeback wins on Saturday, the Blue Jays played from ahead today. Boy, did they.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a grand slam in the first off O’s lefty Zac Lowther, as the first six Blue Jays reached. Teoscar Hernández added a grand slam during Toronto’s 10-run, nine-hit top of the third. They led 5-0 after one, 6-0 in the second and 16-3 after the top of the third.
So, in the last inning last night in the nightcap and first inning today, Toronto scored 16 runs. The Blue Jays had scored 27 runs in their last four innings through the third frame today and 38 runs in the last 17 innings in this series to that point in today’s game.
When Baltimore right-hander Mike Baumann held Toronto scoreless, pitching a 1-2-3 fourth inning, the Jays offense finally came up for air. But their lead was 16-4 by that time.
In the first three innings today, Toronto went 13-for-21, scored 16, and had hit four doubles and four homers, going 5-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Gurriel drove in seven runs, Hernández five and Danny Jansen four as the Blue Jays had 19 hits, including five homers.
Mountcastle hit his milestone homer off Jays lefty Steven Matz with a blast to center in the O’s third inning. He nailed an 0-1 curveball and drove it 430 feet for No. 28. Ripken set the O’s rookie record with 28 in 1982 and now Mountcastle joins him atop the list. The Hall of Famer and Mountcastle each now have one more than Eddie Murray, who hit 27 as a rookie in 1977.
Today was Mountcastle’s 160th major league game. In that time, he has 27 doubles, 33 homers and 102 RBIs. And today he homered off Matz, who led major league hurlers with a 1.30 ERA in August.
Lowther took the loss to fall to 0-2 with an ERA of 9.92. He was charged with four hits and seven runs in two innings plus one batter, throwing 53 pitches.
Right-hander Spenser Watkins replaced him in the third and all eight batters he faced reached, with two hitting homers. The only out he got came on the bases. In 1/3 of an inning, he allowed seven hits and seven runs as his ERA increased to 8.75.
In his second big league pitching appearance, Baumann allowed six hits and four runs over three innings on 67 pitches. He has an ERA of 8.10 in two games.
Down 6-0, the O’s scored three in the last of the second. Anthony Santander and Ramón Urías drew leadoff walks from Matz and Jorge Mateo’s bloop single with one out loaded the bases. A Kelvin Gutiérrez grounder to third scored one run and they added two more on Austin Wynns’ bloop single to right.
Mountcastle’s homer gave the Orioles their fourth run. They added two more on solo homers by Santander (No. 17 in the sixth) and Wynns (No. 3 in the seventh), who had a three-RBI game. The seventh run scored on Austin Hays’ double in the seventh.
The Orioles have allowed 11 or more runs in three straight games for the first time since May 25-27, 2004.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s solo homer in the second was his 44th to tie Shohei Ohtani for the major league lead. It was Guerrero’s 10th homer in 16 games this year off Baltimore pitching. The Blue Jays began today leading the majors with 111 road homers and they added five to that total. Gurriel hit a two-run shot off Baumann in the fifth that went 460 feet and made it 18-4.
Toronto (80-63) began the day tied for the second American League wild card spot and won for the 11th time in 12 games. The Blue Jays are 17-6 over the last 23 games.
The Orioles (46-97) have lost four of five games and fall to 19-47 in division games. They take Monday off and host the Yankees for three games beginning Tuesday night.
On the farm today, Gunnar Henderson hit a three-run homer for high Single-A Aberdeen. Kyle Brnovich threw five scoreless innings as Double-A Bowie beat Harrisburg 4-1 for its seventh straight win.
Lowther on the tough day: “With good hitters, wasn’t attacking them. I was pitching kind of scared or just not attacking them to good zones and getting ahead of guys. With a lineup like that, you have to get ahead and you have to attack. I wasn’t doing it.”
Lowther on tough pitching day for team: “Not great, it’s just tough all around. Those are really good friends of mine and good teammates of mine. If I don’t do well, so be it, but just sucks seeing everyone kind of have not their best day.”
Lowther on what he can learn from outing: “Just get back to what I do. What I did in that Kansas City game really well and eliminate the mistakes I made here. I wasn’t executing and that goes into the work in between games. Just being to kind of re-center myself on this off day and then get back to work.”
Manager Brandon Hyde on the last two days: “Well, I mean, as you see, it’s mid-September and we are in an evaluation mode right now. Lot of these guys are appearing in the big leagues with not a lot of appearances early on in their career.”
Hyde on Mountcastle: “Since May, just had an outstanding season. Take away April, it’s a great year. What an accomplishment, being on a list with some of the greatest players of all time. It’s really, really cool and well deserved. Really happy with how he deal with adversity after that first month.”