Steve Pearce gave the Blue Jays an 8-4 walk-off win against the Athletics on Thursday, mashing a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning against reliever Liam Hendriks. It was the Jays’ second walk-off victory in a row, as the club had walked off 3-2 the previous day on a Kendrys Morales homer.
Pearce had another walk-off grand slam up his sleeve on Sunday afternoon, capping off a seven-run bottom of the ninth inning against the Angels to help his team overcome a 10-4 deficit. Angels reliever Brooks Pounders walked Ryan Goins to lead off the frame, then gave up a two-run home run to Kevin Pillar to bring the game to 10-6. Rob Refsnyder kept the rally going with a ground-rule double, chasing Pounders from the game.
Bud Norris relieved Pounders, but couldn’t change the momentum. Ezequiel Carrera and Russell Martin both singled, making it a 10-7 score. After Justin Smoak grounded out for the first out of the inning, Morales walked to load the bases for Pearce. Pearce took two balls before drilling a 94 MPH Norris fastball over the fence in left field to finalize the game at 11-10 in favor of the Jays and notch his second walk-off grand slam in the last four games.
Pearce finished 2-for-4 with a walk and a double along with the slam. He’s now hitting .267/.319/.462 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI in 213 plate appearances on the season.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.