Rutschman drives in 2, Orioles avoid sweep, beat Blue Jays 5-4

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
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TORONTO – Adley Rutschman hit a two-run single in the ninth inning and the Baltimore Orioles turned the 15th triple play in team history, rallying to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

“One of our better wins of the year, especially with the last couple of days being so disappointing,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

Jesus Aguilar hit a solo homer, his first with the Orioles, as Baltimore (76-69) won for the second time in its past eight meetings with Toronto (83-64). Rutschman went 2 for 3 with two walks.

The Orioles have their highest win total since finishing 89-73 and earning a wild card in 2016. Baltimore went 75-87 in 2017.

“We have a tough time having easy wins,” Hyde said. “It makes us exciting. There’s a lot of fight in our club, and I don’t see us stopping.”

Joey Krehbiel (5-4) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Felix Bautista earned his 14th save in 15 chances, pitching around George Springer‘s two-out RBI double.

Springer thought he had connected for a tying homer, but his drive to center hit off the wall. Cavan Biggio scored after reaching on a two-out walk.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. walked but Bautista got Bo Bichette to ground out, ending the game.

Guerrero and Danny Jansen hit solo homers for the Blue Jays, who maintained their position atop the AL wild-card standings.

Baltimore trailed 3-2 before rallying in the ninth against Jordan Romano (5-4). Pinch-hitters Kyle Stowers and Ramon Urias singled and Cedric Mullins walked before Rutschman lined a two-run single to left.

“That was a super pro at-bat,” Hyde said. “He got something he could handle out over the plate, stayed on it, and a base hit the other way.”

Rutschman has 16 doubles, 20 RBIs and 39 walks in 50 games since the All-Star break.

“It was definitely a big moment,” Rutschman said. “When you’re in the box, you just try and relax as much as you can and stick to your approach.”

Anthony Santander grounded into a double play, advancing Mullins to third, and Aguilar made it 5-3 with a base hit to right.

“He got two enormous hits for us,” Hyde said of Aguilar.

The blown save was Romano’s fifth.

“He’s arguably the best in the league, and he just didn’t have it today,” interim Toronto manager John Schneider said. “I think his slider was a little bit flat. I think they were sitting on it.”

Baltimore turned a triple play to get right-hander Dean Kremer out of a jam in the third. It was its first since Aug. 3, 2017, against Detroit, and No. 15 since becoming the Orioles in 1954.

Springer was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Guerrero walked and Bichette opened the scoring with an RBI single to left, putting runners at first and second.

Matt Chapman followed with a liner right at shortstop Jorge Mateo, who flipped to second baseman Terrin Vavra to double off Guerrero. Vavra promptly fired the ball to first baseman Aguilar to retire Bichette before he could dive back to the bag.

“It came at the right time,” Hyde said.

It was the 10th time the Blue Jays have hit into a triple play since joining the AL in 1977. The New York Yankees turned a triple play against Toronto on June 17, 2021.

Jansen homered off Kremer in the fourth, his 13th. Guerrero hit a two-out drive off Dillon Tate in the seventh, his 29th.

Springer stayed in the game after being hit on the left elbow, briefly leaving the dugout between at-bats. He appeared uncomfortable after making contact on an infield popup in the fifth and struck out swinging in the seventh.

Kremer allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked five, matching his career-worst.

Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah allowed one run and four hits in six innings.

RARE RUNS

Romano allowed a run for the first time in 15 appearances. He came in having allowed only one earned run in 28 home appearances this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle (sore left elbow) was held out of the starting lineup. Mountcastle left Saturday’s game after being hit by a pitch from Jose Berrios.

Blue Jays: C Alejandro Kirk (left hip) sat for the fifth straight day but is expected to be ready to return Tuesday. The Blue Jays are off Monday. With Kirk out, Jansen caught Manoah for the first time this season.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Tyler Wells (7-6, 3.93 ERA) starts Monday as Baltimore returns home to begin a three-game series against Detroit. LHP Tyler Alexander (3-10, 5.35 ERA) starts for the Tigers.

Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (8-4, 2.94 ERA) starts Tuesday in the opener of a two-game series at Philadelphia. RHP Kyle Gibson (10-6, 4.45 ERA) goes for the Phillies.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.