TORONTO (AP/WJZ) — George Springer hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched his 48th homer as the Toronto Blue Jays romped to a 12-4 blowout of the Baltimore Orioles that wasn’t enough to avoid playoff elimination Sunday.
Toronto needed to win, and a loss by the Yankees or Red Sox on the final day of the regular season to force at least a tiebreaker game Monday for an AL wild-card spot. But the Blue Jays’ hopes were dashed when Boston rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Washington 7-5 on a two-run homer by Rafael Devers in the top of the ninth inning that silenced stunned Toronto fans at Rogers Centre who stuck around to watch on the big video board.READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Driver After Crash With Light Rail Train In Baltimore, Fire Union Says
A little earlier, New York edged Tampa Bay 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the ninth to clinch a postseason berth.
“Unfortunately our fate was in the hands of another team,” Springer said. “We were hoping for something but obviously it didn’t happen.”
With the loss, the Orioles finished the 2021 season with an American League-worst record of 52-110.
“Obviously, our record isn’t where it needs to be,” Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but a lot of really good things happened this year and a lot of guys made names for themselves.”
After the Arizona Diamondbacks hit a walk-off home run in the 9th inning against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, the Orioles potentially secured the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
The league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which sets the working relationship between players and teams, including how the draft order is determined, is scheduled to expire in December.
Under the current rules, the order of the draft is determined by the previous year’s standings. The Orioles and Diamondbacks had identical 52-110 records in 2021 and 25-35 records in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. In 2019, the Orioles won 54 games and the Diamondbacks won 85.
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) October 3, 2021
Hyun Jin Ryu (14-10) pitched five innings to win for the first time since Sept. 6, Marcus Semien hit a solo home run and Tesocar Hernández had three hits and three RBIs as the Blue Jays scored in each of the first five innings.
“Those guys came out to play all series,” Baltimore’s Trey Mancini said. “That’s one of the best offenses I’ve ever seen, personally.”READ MORE: Turgeon Still Hoping For Long Postseason Run At Maryland
Tyler Nevin hit his first career home run for Baltimore, a 442-foot drive into the fourth deck off Ryu, but the Orioles finished a distant last in the AL East at 52-110.
The Blue Jays (91-71) hit four home runs in Game 162 to finish with 262, the highest total in the majors this season and the most in Toronto history.
Springer gave the Blue Jays an early advantage with a leadoff homer against right-hander Bruce Zimmermann in the first. It was the 43rd leadoff home run of his career and fourth this season.
Springer made it 9-1 with his grand slam off Eric Hanhold in the third, the sixth slam of his career.
Guerrero drove in Springer when he homered off Marcos Diplán in the second, matching Kansas City’s Saldavor Perez for the major league lead. Guerrero also broke a tie with Eddie Matthews (1953) for the most home runs in one season by a player 22 or younger.
Making his second start after a stint on the injured list because of a sore neck, Ryu allowed six hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out seven.
Nate Pearson, Julian Merryweather, Jacob Barnes and Adam Cimber all worked one inning for Toronto.
Zimmermann (4-5) faced seven batters before being replaced. He allowed five hits and three runs.
“I didn’t want to pull him early but three runs given up, traffic on the bases, I was trying to keep it right there,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
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Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 15, position players on Feb. 20 and the first full workout is Feb. 21. Baltimore begins its 2022 spring training schedule Feb. 26 against the Yankees.