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Orioles send Blue Jays into 'worst ever' territory with 2-1 victory

Orioles send Blue Jays into 'worst ever' territory with 2-1 victory

TORONTO  -- Zach Britton and the Baltimore Orioles made it a total loss for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Britton escaped a nervy ninth inning and the Orioles handed the Blue Jays their sixth straight defeat, 2-1 on Thursday night.

Toronto is off to a franchise-worst 1-8 start. The Blue Jays also saw star slugger Josh Donaldson leave in the sixth when he aggravated the sore right calf that kept him out of Tuesday's home opener. Donaldson will be reevaluated Friday.

Four of Toronto's eight defeats have been one-run decisions, and only one has been by more than two runs.

"It's not like we're getting crushed every night," catcher Russell Martin said.

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Kevin Gausman (1-0) pitched six innings for his first victory in nine career appearances at Rogers Centre.

"You can talk about a lot of things in the game but Kevin was the difference," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Britton took over in the ninth and Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out single, Martin followed with a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Britton held on for his fourth save, retiring Kevin Pillar on a grounder then getting pinch hitter and former teammate Steve Pearce on a flyball.

Britton got Pearce in a key spot for the second time this season. In Baltimore's second game of the year, Britton got Pearce to ground into a bases-loaded double play to preserve a 3-1 win.

"I've got a little bit of history with him," Britton said. "I've seen him hit quite a bit now, faced him quite a bit now, understand that he hits lefties well. If anything, it helps you out a little bit knowing him."

Francisco Liriano (0-1), who allowed five runs in one-third of an inning in his season-opening loss to Tampa Bay last week, rebounded nicely against Baltimore. He struck out 10 and gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The Blue Jays, last in the majors with 24 total runs, saw Donaldson get hurt on an RBI double. Starting at DH for the second straight game, Donaldson pulled up as he rounded first base, hobbling into second before being replaced.

Eleven of Gausman's 18 outs came on grounders, including one double play.

"Any time I can get groundball outs, that kind of shows me that I have it that day," he said.

After Gausman left, Darren O'Day and Brad Brach each worked a scoreless inning.

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Baltimore strung together four straight hits off Liriano to start the fifth. Wellington Castillo and Trey Mancini singled before Jonathan Schoop doubled and J.J. Hardy hit an RBI single.

Seeking to spark his offense, Toronto manager John Gibbons moved outfielder Ezequiel Carrera into the leadoff spot and dropped Devon Travis, who came in hitless in 23 at bats, to ninth. Neither move paid dividends, as Carrera finished 0 for 4 and Travis went 0 for 3.

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

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USA Today Sports

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.

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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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USA TODAY Sports

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.

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NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

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