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Josh Donaldson's 3-run homer, powers Toronto over Baltimore

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Josh Donaldson's 3-run homer, powers Toronto over Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- A scorching line drive did more than merely end the night for Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman.

It also turned out to be a downer for the Baltimore Orioles.

Josh Donaldson hit a pivotal three-run homer and the Blue Jays deftly recovered from Stroman's scary moment in a 7-2 victory Saturday night.

Stroman was struck on the right elbow by a second-inning liner off the bat of Mark Trumbo. The right-hander immediately dropped to the ground and squirmed in pain near the mound.

"Obviously you panic right at first. It just felt like my arm exploded," Stroman said. "But once I kind of started to squeeze my hand while I was on the ground and kind of feel that I had my strength in my wrist and my hand, I kind of felt a little better."

Stroman was removed by bench coach DeMarco Hale, who was subbing for manager John Gibbons.

"He thought that he might be going to be able to pitch," Hale said. "But we saw that the bruise was on his arm there, so it was a no-brainer for me."

The injury was diagnosed as a contusion, and X-rays were negative.

Stroman was replaced by Matt Dermody (2-0), who went 2 1/3 innings before Luis Santos allowed one run and two hits over 3 1/3 innings in his first big league game.

Turns out, the Orioles probably would have fared better against Stroman, Toronto's ace, than the prospects who replaced him.

"He's a really good pitcher, so you spend a good amount of time getting ready for that," Baltimore's Seth Smith said. "Whenever he's out, it changes the dynamic."

The right-hander gave up two hits and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said: "There's a lot of unknown, and you get ambushed this time of the year easily with the way the rules are in September."

Showalter stressed he wasn't using that as an excuse for the Orioles' meager offensive output, but he also expressed his disdain for the expanded rosters and their impact on Baltimore's playoff push.

"It's tough. It's another thing that most who play the game don't like about this time of year," the manager said. "But it is what it is, and we're all playing under the same rules. So you deal with it."

Smith homered for the Orioles, who fell 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the final AL wild-card slot.

Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney went deep for the last-place Blue Jays, who were in a 2-10 funk before winning two of three in a series that concludes Sunday.

Toronto was clinging to a two-run lead when Donaldson connected in the seventh off Richard Rodriguez, who was making his major league debut. Barney hit a two-run drive in the eighth to make it 7-0.

The Blue Jays played without Gibbons, who left to tend to personal business, according to the team.

Orioles starter Wade Miley (8-11) allowed a solo shot to Pillar in the fifth inning and a sacrifice fly to Kendrys Morales in the sixth. The left-hander is 1-3 against Toronto this season.

"I just want to go out there and give us a chance to win," Miley said. "Obviously, tonight I wasn't able to do that."

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0