Pompey leads way as Jays beat Orioles 4-2
Sep. 27, 2014
TORONTO (AP) — A victory over the Baltimore Orioles means the Blue Jays will finish with a winning record for the first time since 2010.
Now the bad news: with Kansas City clinching a playoff berth Friday, Toronto takes over as the owner of the longest active playoff drought in baseball, at 21 years.
Rookie Dalton Pompey had three extra-base hits, Drew Hutchison won for the first time in three starts and the Blue Jays beat Baltimore 4-2 Friday night.
The Blue Jays had reason to hope their drought would end this year. They led the AL East into June and were still in wild card contention until going 9-17 in August.
"Obviously it's not the way we wanted this year to go after the position we were in," Hutchison said.
Born and raised in suburban Toronto, Pompey started the season at Class A and rose through the minor leagues before being called up in September.
"It's been a dream come true for me," he said.
Pompey's exciting September, however, is little consolation for a lack of October baseball since the Blue Jays won the second of back-to-back World Series titles in 1993.
Hutchison (11-13) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, walked one and struck out eight. He's 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA in eight career starts against Baltimore.
The right-hander, who won just one of his first six home starts this season, finished the year by going 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA in his final five home outings.
Pompey tripled and scored in the second, doubled home a run in the third and hit an RBI triple in the fifth. He also ended the second inning with a spectacular diving catch in foul territory along the left field line to retire Alejandro De Aza.
"It's exciting talking about him, the plays he's made and the way he's swung the bat," Hutchison said.
Baltimore's loss means the Orioles will not finish with the best record in the American League. Baltimore came in three games behind the Los Angeles Angels, who will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
"We're where we need to be," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman lost for the first time in 16 road starts, preventing him from becoming the first pitcher since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2008 to complete a season without losing away from home.
Tillman (13-6) came in 8-0 with a 4.19 ERA in his 15 previous road starts.
Tillman, who's expected to start Baltimore's division series opener next Thursday, allowed four runs and a career-high 11 hits, walked none and struck out five. The outing snapped a 20-start streak in which he had allowed three runs or fewer.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who was suspended for five games after throwing at Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph during a game in Baltimore last week, relieved Hutchison and pitched the final four innings without incident to earn his first career save.
Pompey is the 11th different Blue Jays player to hit two triples in one game. He's the third rookie to achieve the feat, and the first since Shannon Stewart in 1997.
Injured Orioles C Matt Wieters is headed to Detroit this weekend to help scout the Tigers, who are likely to be Baltimore's opponent in the ALDS. "He seems real enthused about it," Showalter said.
HAVING A BALL
Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said he surrendered the ball from Derek Jeter's walkoff hit in Thursday's game at New York to a bat boy, who told Joseph that Jeter had requested the memento. Joseph sounded slightly regretful about surrendering the ball so easily. "Rookie mistake," he said.
Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen (16-5) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-11) on Saturday. Chen is 8-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 16 road starts, but 1-2 with a 6.32 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.