BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Randal Grichuk and Travis Shaw homered, Nate Pearson returned from an elbow injury to pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings and the playoff-bound Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-5 Friday night.
Shaw narrowly missed a multihomer game, hitting a double in the seventh that struck the top of the wall in right field and bounced back into play.READ MORE: FDA, CDC Recommend ‘Pause’ For Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Over Clot Reports
Pearson had been sidelined since a game Aug. 18 at Baltimore. He came on to begin the fourth and struck out the first batter he faced, Austin Hays, on three pitches.
The hard-throwing rookie right-hander reached 101.5 mph on his strike three pitch to Hays. It was the fastest pitch by a Blue Jays pitcher since tracking began in 2008, eclipsing a 101.2 mph pitch by Brandon Morrow in 2014.
A starter earlier this season, Pearson will pitch out of the bullpen in the playoffs. The Blue Jays have been without closer Ken Giles for much of the season because of an elbow injury that will require surgery.
Toronto clinched its first postseason berth since 2016 by beating the Yankees 4-1 on Thursday. The Blue Jays are assured of at least a wild card and could still edge out New York for second place in the AL East.
Grichuk hit a leadoff shot off Jorge López in the second, his 11th, and Toronto scored six runs in the inning, sending 10 batters to the plate.
Toronto chased López and added two more in the third before Shaw connected on a two-run shot off Tom Eshelman in the fourth.
López (2-2) allowed eight runs and nine hits in two-plus innings, losing for the second straight start. He’s 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA in five games against Toronto.READ MORE: Maryland Directs All Vaccine Providers To Pause Johnson & Johnson Shot In Light Of Clot Reports
Baltimore’s Ramón Urías and Cedric Mullins hit back-to-back solo home runs off Shun Yamaguchi in the fifth, and José Iglesias connected off the Japanese right-hander in the sixth.
Orioles rookie Ryan Mountcastle went 2 for 3 with a walk.
Blue Jays: GM Ross Atkins said INF Rowdy Tellez (knee) is unlikely to be healthy in time for the opening round of the playoffs. … RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) threw a second bullpen session Friday and remains in the mix for a postseason roster spot. … INF Cavan Biggio got the day off, his first of the season.
Orioles: Renato Nunez (knee) sat for the second straight game but was available off the bench and is likely to play again before the season ends, manager Brandon Hyde said.
Baltimore LHP John Means (2-3, 5.02) faces Blue Jays RHP Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.71) on Saturday night. Means is 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in four September starts. Shoemaker returned from a sore shoulder to pitch three innings against the Yankees on Sept. 21.MORE NEWS: 16-Year-Old Armed With Airsoft Gun, Knife Killed In Trooper-Involved Shooting, Maryland State Police Say
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