A Wild Card game pitting two teams packed with big hitters was always going to end with a big hit. And so the AL Wild Card game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles went the way of the home team after a 3-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion in the 11th inning.
Surprisingly, the game featured pretty good pitching, and mostly home runs, as the Blue Jays won 5-2. Jose Bautista hit a 2nd inning solo shot off of Chris Tillman, who didn’t make it past the 5th inning, but in the 4th inning Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer off of Marcus Stroman, giving the Orioles the lead.
The Blue Jays came back in the 5th with what was Tillman’s swan song in the game: A Ezequiel Carrera single while Michael Saunders scored off of. Stroman was taken off after the sixth inning, and from there it was only a matter of time until someone broke through.
Francisco Liriano did a terrific job in the 10th and 11th innings to put the Blue Jays within one run of winning the game. The Orioles sent starter Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound, and it didn’t work out well for him: He loaded two bases by giving up two hits with Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson advancing, setting up Encarnacion’s home run, providing a glamorous way to complete the game with a walk off.
The Orioles go home disappointed, as the participation in the placebo playoffs didn’t make them feel any better. The Blue Jays, for the second straight season, go and face the Texas Rangers in the ALDS.