Blue Jays release a statement about Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game incident

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The Rogers Centre hosted Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays. During the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, pinch-hitter Melvin Upton, Jr. hit a fly ball to left-center field. Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim camped under the ball and, as the ball dropped into his glove, a Blue Jays fan threw a can of beer in an attempt to interfere with Kim. It didn’t work, but it was still upsetting to Kim and center fielder Adam Jones, who pointed and yelled — ostensibly at the fan who threw the can. Had Kim not been able to catch the ball, Upton likely still would have been called out according to rule 3.16.

In between innings, security descended on the area, trying to find the culprit. Meanwhile, manager Buck Showalter discussed the issue with the umpires. The game went on without any further interruptions and the Blue Jays would wind up walking off 5-2 winners thanks to an Edwin Encarnacion three-run home run off of Ubaldo Jimenez.

On Wednesday, the Blue Jays released a statement about the beer can incident:

In case the above tweet doesn’t load, the statement reads:

The Toronto Blue Jays would like to express our extreme disappointment for the incident that occurred during last night’s American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre involving an object being thrown onto the field of play.

Throughout this season, we have witnessed an incredible level of fan engagement, with a passionate and loyal fan base that extends across Canada. On the heels of one of the most competitive and exhilarating baseball games in our club’s history, it is extremely unfortunate that the irresponsible actions of one individual would detract from the game on the field, and tarnish an otherwise memorable night.

We would like to offer our sincere apologies and regrets to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, its manager and players, as well as Major League Baseball for this embarrassing incident.

The safety of our fans, staff, players and visiting teams is paramount. We’re cooperating with the authorities to identify the individual involved, and the individual responsible is not welcome back to the stadium. We will also enact heightened security measures and alcohol policies that will ensure the fan experience and safety of everybody involved.

We hope the focus will remain on the exciting play on the field, and that our fans will express their passionate support for the Blue Jays while demonstrating a level of respect and responsibility that has made Rogers Centre one of the best atmospheres for families and fans of baseball.

Toronto Blue Jays

Manoah, Merrifield lead Blue Jays to 3-1 win over Rays

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Alek Manoah pitched seven shutout innings, Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays regained the top AL wild-card spot with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays lead Tampa Bay by one game. The top wild card finisher will host all games in their best-of-three opening-round series, while the other two wild cards play strictly on the road.

Manoah (15-7) scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing a season-high 113 pitches. The righty worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out Randy Arozarena and getting a flyout from David Peralta.

Jordan Romano replaced Tim Mayza with two on and two outs in the eighth and allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez‘s RBI infield single but avoided further damage by striking out Manuel Margot. Romano finished the game to get his 35th save in 41 chances.

Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one run, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

The teams combined for 31 runs, with the Rays accounting for 20, in the first two games of the series that were both won by Tampa Bay.

Arozarena got the Rays’ first hit off Manoah with a two-out double in the fourth. He became the first Tampa Bay player and 20th big leaguer to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.

Teoscar Hernandez ended Rasmussen’s night with a double in the seventh. Brooks Raley entered and, after a walk to pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, Merrifield made it 3-0 on his 10th homer of the season.

Merrifield homered twice in Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.

Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a single before Rasmussen retired 12 in a row until Merrifield’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Plate umpire Corey Blaser took a hard foul ball by Margot on the mask in the eighth but remained in the game.

HONORING KK

The Rays posted a thank you on the message board for CF Kevin Kiermaier, who is out for the season following left hip surgery. Kiermaier is in the final season of a $53.5 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for 2023 that is expected to be declined.

TEAM AWARDS

Rays ace Shane McClanahan was voted the Don Zimmer MVP award winner by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. CF Jose Siri was selected as the outstanding rookie. 3B Yandy Diaz received the Paul C. Smith Champions award as the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (lat strain) allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (lower back) is done for the season.

UP NEXT

McClanahan (12-6), pulled from his start Tuesday in the fifth inning due to neck tightness, will face Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.