Blue Jays Advance In To ALDS – Encarnacion Homers In Bottom Of 11th To Beat Orioles 5-2

Blue Jays Advance In the ninth inning, with the game tied 2-2, the Baltimore Orioles elected to walk Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays and pitch to Jose...

Blue Jays Advance

In the ninth inning, with the game tied 2-2, the Baltimore Orioles elected to walk Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays and pitch to Jose Bautista. Bautista struck out looking.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, with two runners on, the Orioles chose to pitch Encarnacion instead of Bautista. This would be the Encarnacion who hit 42 home runs and drove in 127 runs to lead the American League – yes, we know Bautista homered way back in the second inning to give the Blues Jays a 1-0 lead in this American League wild card game.

Encarnacion proceeded to hit a shot that no one doubted would clear the fences. And he hit it off Ubaldo Jiminez, who, inexpicably, was in the game for the Orioles instead of Zach Britton, the guy who went a perfect 47 for 47 on saves this season. And did the Orioles forget the June 10 game against the Jays when Encarnacion hit a walk-off homer against them?
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So the Blue Jays celebrated at home plate and in the dressing room and prepared to depart for Texas, where they will play the Rangers in the best-of-five AL divisional round beginning Thursday. The Orioles go home, disappointed and no doubt questioning what passed for their strategy.

Next up: Wednesday night in the National League wild card eliminator, the San Francisco Giants visit the New York Mets. Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is 4-0 in his last four starts at Citi Field, with an ERA of 0.62. The Mets counter with Noah Syndergaard. ESPN will show this game at 8 p.m. ET.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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