Jays hammer Orioles to keep 2nd place in AL East in sight


Cavan Biggio broke up a no-hit bid with a solo home run in the sixth inning, Randal Grichuk added a three-run shot and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Saturday night.

The Blue Jays need another victory in Sunday’s regular-season finale, and a Miami win over the Yankees in New York, to move up to second place in the AL East and the fifth seed in the league. If not, Toronto will drop to eighth, and a first-round playoff meeting with the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays.

Toronto has won four straight and six of seven following a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Baltimore’s John Means (2-4) held the Blue Jays hitless until Biggio broke a scoreless tie with his eighth homer.

Means walked infielder Jonathan Villar, the second batter of the game, and didn’t allow another baserunner until Biggio connected on a 1-0 pitch. The drive to right ended a streak of 16 consecutive outs by Means, including five straight strikeouts at one stretch. The left-hander struck out nine and walked one in six innings.

Grichuk connected on the first pitch he saw from Hunter Harvey in the seventh. It was his 12th homer of the season and the 19th of his career against the Orioles, more than he’s hit against any other opponent. Grichuk also homered in Toronto’s 10-5 win Friday.

The Blue Jays scratched right-hander Matt Shoemaker, the scheduled starter, and turned to right-hander T.J. Zeuch. Instead, Shoemaker threw a side session before the game, meaning he could be used in the opening round of the playoffs.

Zeuch allowed five hits in five scoreless innings.

Chase Anderson (1-2) got the win, striking out the first four batters he faced in a two-inning relief stint. Anthony Bass got the final four outs for his seventh save in nine chances.

Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. yelped in pain after he fouled a pitch off his left foot in the second inning. Gurriel batted again in the fifth, but he was replaced by Grichuk in the top of the sixth. The Blue Jays said Gurriel had a contusion on his foot.

Austin Hays had three hits and Jose Iglesias had two doubles and drove in a run, but the Orioles lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Baltimore has lost 14 of 18 overall.



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