Blue Jays pull out extra-inning win
DUNEDIN, Fla.—Jonathan Diaz, taking off from second base, beat a throw to the plate to complete a 10th-inning Toronto comeback as the Blue Jays rallied to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 yesterday.
Toronto needed a run in the ninth and two in the 10th to stave off the Orioles, who led 2-1 going into the bottom off the ninth and then went ahead 3-2 in the 10th thanks to Dariel Alvarez’s solo homer off reliever Arik Sikula.
Diaz walked and Dan Johnson singled in Kratz to tie it at 3-3.
Josh Thole, who was three-for-17 at the plate, then grounded out to Buck Britton at second base but Diaz beat the throw to home from first baseman Michael Almanzar.
Diaz said third base coach Luis Perez deserved kudos for the play
“It was 3-1 [count] and we were just going on the pitch,” noted Diaz, a slick-fielding shortstop who had come on earlier as an outfield replacement.
“I give all the credit to Luis,” he added. “He’s the one that saw the play and sent me.
“And I just put my head down and ran as hard as I could.”
The win snapped a four-game spring losing streak for the Jays (7-10), who had looked poised to end that slide in the ninth inning.
Toronto loaded the bases with no outs off reliever Ryan Webb through singles from Johnson, Dioner Navarro, and Chris Getz.
Munenori Kawasaki then hit an RBI single to tie it at 2-2.
But the promising rally ended all too quickly.
Baltimore (10-6) brought in left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz, who retired Moises Sierra via a sharp lineout.
Kevin Pillar then hit a double-play ball back to the pitcher to end the uprising.
The Jays also continued to display good defence yesterday, with Brett Lawrie handling hot shots at third in the second and fourth innings and Colby Rasmus tracking down a high ball in the wind in the third.
Melky Cabrera gunned down a runner from left field in the seventh as he tried to come home from second on a single.
Chunky catcher Navarro, however, was thrown out at the plate to snuff out a Jays’ rally in the seventh.
The Jays had an off-day today before travelling to Lakeland to face a Detroit Tigers split squad tomorrow.
Ricky Romero is slated to start in his continued bid to win back a place in the Jays’ rotation.