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Mark Trumbo's 11th-inning homer lifts Orioles over Blue Jays 3-2

Mark Trumbo's 11th-inning homer lifts Orioles over Blue Jays 3-2

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Five months later, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays reprised their winner-take-all postseason showdown.

The stakes weren't as high, yet the drama was palpable and the game was eerily similar.

Mark Trumbo homered with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Orioles beat Toronto 3-2 Monday for their seventh straight opening-day victory.

Trumbo connected off Jason Grilli (0-1) on a 1-2 slider. When he reached the plate, the reigning major league home run king was doused in water by teammates and cheered heartily by those remaining from a sellout crowd of 45,667.

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The game was rematch of last year's AL wild card playoff, won by Toronto 5-2 on an 11th-inning home run by Edwin Encarnacion. This time, the Orioles prevailed with a game-ending blast.

"It did seem to have a similar feel," Trumbo said. "I'm glad this one turned out in our favor."

The Orioles didn't place a runner in scoring position after the third inning. But with their power-laden lineup, one swing is all it takes to win a tight game like this.

Trumbo provided it.

"We have a lot of confidence that, if we get enough chances, we'll be able to do some damage," Trumbo said. "I'm just happy to come through and take us home."

The 25th opening day at Camden Yards began in the late afternoon and ended at dusk.

"This is one of those places you don't feel good when they get the last at-bat," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "They are probably the top power hitting team in the game, top to bottom. They can do that at home."

Tyler Wilson (1-0), the fourth Baltimore reliever, pitched one shutout inning.

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Grilli threw 15 pitchers, the last of which he lamented the most.

"I just left it fat. It was obviously not a good one," he said. "You make a mistake and you pay for it."

Booed from introductions to his final at-bat, Toronto's Jose Bautista went 0 for 5 with a walk. He grounded into an inning-ending double play in the ninth with the score tied and runners on first and second.

Starting on opening day for the first time, Baltimore's Kevin Gausman gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada also received his first opening day start. The 10-year veteran allowed two runs over six innings and retired his last 10 batters.

Baltimore went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position over the first two innings, wasting doubles by Adam Jones and Welington Castillo.

That trend ended in the third. Newcomer Seth Smith doubled and Jones walked, Chris Davis delivered an RBI single and Trumbo followed with a run-scoring double.

Toronto got a run back in the fifth when Gausman issued three walks, the last to Kendrys Morales with the bases loaded.

The Blue Jays pulled even in the sixth. After Gausman gave up a one-out single to Steve Pearce, Ezequiel Carrera hit an RBI double off Mychal Givens.

WHAT A PLAY

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado thrilled the crowd in the 11th inning, diving near the bag to snare a grounder before throwing a side-armed toss on one knee to retire Devon Travis by a step at first base. He received a standing ovation.

"Who else makes that throw?" Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Nobody."

FLYING BATS

Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar lost the grip on his bat on successive swings in the eighth inning, launching it into the stands on the third-base side on both occasions. A fan made a nice catch on the first one, and the second dropped from without evidently hurting anyone.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: Toronto hoped to avoid placing RHP Roberto Osuna (cervical spasm) on the 10-day DL, but relented Sunday. "We expected and he expected for it to improve with him continuing to pitch," GM Ross Atkins said. "It didn't, so we thought it was in his best interest and ours to see if we could get it completely out of there."

Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (respiratory infection) will pitch a simulated game Tuesday. He hopes to come off the DL to start Sunday against the Yankees.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: J.A. Happ (20-4 in 2016) starts Wednesday night in the finale of the two-game series. He's 4-3 against Baltimore.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (10-6) makes his 15th career start Wednesday, the first against Toronto.

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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

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USA Today Sports

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.

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Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

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USA TODAY Sports

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

HOUSTON (AP) -- Home runs kept flying over the wall at Minute Maid Park, on line drives up toward the train tracks, on fly balls that just dropped over the fence.

Seven more were hit in Game 5, raising the total to a World Series record 22 -- with two possible more games to play. Twenty-five runs were scored in a game started by the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Astros' Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young Award winners regarded as among baseball's best.

After a season when sluggers outpaced even their steroid-era predecessors for home runs, some are convinced that something is amiss with the baseballs.

"The main complaint is that the balls seem a little bit different in the postseason, and even from the postseason to the World Series balls," Justin Verlander said Sunday, two days before he takes the mound in Game 6 and tries to pitch the Astros to their first title. "They're a little slick. You just deal with it. But I don't think it's the case of one pitcher saying, `Hey, something is different here.' I think as a whole, everybody is saying, `Whoa, something is a little off here.'"

A record eight home runs were hit in Game 2, including five in extra innings, and Game 5's seven long balls would have tied the old mark. The 13-12, 10-inning Astros' win Sunday night was the second-highest scoring game in Series history.

Keuchel was quoted as saying after Game 2: "Obviously, the balls are juiced."

Not so obvious to everyone, even amid the power surge.

"I haven't personally noticed anything. I haven't tried to think about it either," Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow said after giving up two homers in Game 5. "It's not something you want to put in your own head."

Same for Kershaw, even after giving up his record eighth homer of the postseason Sunday.

"I don't really pay attention to it," Kershaw said. "I just assume that both sides are dealing with it, so I'm not going to worry about it."

This year's long ball assault topped the 21 of the 2002 Series. Anaheim hit seven and Barry Bonds and his San Francisco Giants slugged 14 over seven games. That was the year before survey drug testing.

Speculation that something has changed includes a study claiming to have found differences in the size and seam height of balls since the 2015 All-Star break.

"I know there was talk about different sizes and some of the baseballs were slightly bigger and some were smaller. Some of the seams were higher, some of the seams were lower. But, no, it's been consistent," said Rich Hill, who will start Game 6 for the Dodgers. "I think that just has to do with conditions -- if it's colder it's going to be slicker. If it's a little bit warmer out or humid, I think you're going to find that you're going to have a little bit more of moisture to the baseballs."

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred insists nothing nefarious is going on.

"I'm absolutely confident that the balls that we're using are within our established specifications," he said Friday.

Verlander rejected that assertion.

"I know Mr. Manfred said the balls haven't changed, but I think there's enough information out there to say that's not true," he said.

Verlander also does not think it's an issue of how balls are rubbed up before games.

"I know baseball uses the same mud for every single ball for every single game that's played," he said. "I think there's a broader issue that we're all missing."

On the day he become commissioner in January 2015, Manfred said, "I'm cognizant in the drop in offense over the last five years, and it's become a topic of conversation in the game, and it's something that we're going to have to continue to monitor and study."

Offense started rebounding during the second half of the season, and a record 6,105 home runs were hit this year, 2.4 percent more than the previous mark of 5,963 set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era.

"I think it's pretty clear," Verlander said. "I think our commissioner has said publicly that they wanted more offense in the game. I'm pretty sure I'm not fabricating a quote here when I say that. I think it was already All-Star break of `15, or right before, when he said that."

San Francisco's Johnny Cueto and Toronto's Marcus Stroman also think the balls have changed, with Stroman blaming slick balls for a rise in pitcher blisters -- an affliction which has struck Hill a few times in the past couple seasons, too.

Houston's Brent Strom and the Dodgers' Rick Honeycutt, the World Series pitching coaches, both were quoted by Sports Illustrated on Sunday as saying the slickness of the ball made throwing sliders difficult.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't see a ton difference, but I'm not going to get in a verbal war with coaches and players who think otherwise."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a similar view but acknowledged the power records got his attention.

"The pitchers talk about it feels different in their hand. The one component is the slickness and guys at different ballparks rub it up differently," he said. "Sort of feels the same to me. But it's hard to argue the numbers. You know there's more velocity. Guys are swinging harder. I know in Los Angeles the air was light. It was hot. The ball was flying, carrying more than typically. But I hesitate to try to give you any insight because I really don't know."

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