Toronto Blue Jays beat Baltimore Orioles to maintain momentum

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BUFFALO, NY – Cavan Biggio broke an unsuccessful bid with a sixth inning solo home run, Randal Grichuk added a three-point shot and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Saturday night.The Blue Jays need another win in Sunday’s regular season finals and a Miami win over the Yankees in New York, to move up to second-place AL East and fifth seed league series. Otherwise, Toronto will remain in eighth place and secure a first-round playoff meeting with the seeded Tampa Bay Rays.

“Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we’re good to go,” Biggio said.

Toronto has won four in a row and six of seven after a six-game losing streak.

John Means of Baltimore (2-4) held the Blue Jays scoreless until Biggio broke a scoreless tie with his eighth home run.

Means walked an infielder Jonathan Villar, the second hitter of the game, and did not allow another baserunner until Biggio connects on a 1-0 pitch.

Biggio credited Jonathan Davis, who had lined up to end a 10 batting pitch immediately before, for carrying Means down.

“He really made him work for that, something that we didn’t do the whole game,” Biggio said. “I can probably say with certainty that (Means) won’t grab a slider over there if he’s not exhausted against JD.

“Hats off to him, he started a great game,” Biggio added. “He made a mistake and that’s what the race was.”

Biggio’s push to the right ended a streak of 16 consecutive strikeouts by Means, including five consecutive strikeouts at bat. The southpaw struck out nine goals and had one in six inning.

Means has a 1.52 ERA in his last four starts, dropping only one end each time. Considering how far he throws, Means isn’t quite ready for the end of the season.

“I wish there were 100 games left,” he said.

Grichuk logged in on the first land he has seen since Hunter Harvey in the seventh. It was his 12th homerun of the season and the 19th of his career against the Orioles, more than he has hit against any other opponent. His seven home runs against Baltimore this season are the most scored by a player against a single opponent. Grichuk also hit a home run in Toronto’s 10-5 win on Friday.

The Blue Jays scratched the right-hander Matt Shoemaker, the programmed starter, and turned to the right-handed TJ Zeuch. Shoemaker started a parallel session before the game, which means it could be used in the first round of the playoffs.

Zeuch allowed five hits in five scoreless innings.

Chase Anderson (1-2) took the win, knocking out the top four batters he faced in a two-end relief throw. Anthony Bass had the last four strikeouts for his seventh save on nine occasions.

Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. howled in pain after fouling a pitch on his left foot in the second inning. Gurriel struck again in the fifth, but was replaced by Grichuk at the top of the sixth. The Blue Jays have said Gurriel has a bruised foot.

He wasn’t the only Blue Jays player to be injured. Right handed Ross Stripling was replaced by Bass after being punched in the right shin by comebacker DJ Stewart in the eighth.

“They’re both doing well which is great,” said Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo.

Austin Hays had three hits and José Iglesias had two doubles and led in one run, but the Orioles lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Baltimore lost 14 of 18 overall after a 20-21 start.

“There have been some ups and downs this year,” said Hays, “but I think we showed early on what this team is capable of. ”

TRAINERS ‘ROOM

Blue Jays: Montoyo a déclaré LHP Hyun Jin Ryu is not injured, but would not commit to start Ryu in the first game of the playoffs. Montoyo said on Friday that Ryu was “a little sore” after throwing a high 100 pitches in seven innings against the Yankees on Thursday. … INF Rowdy Tellez (right knee) ran for bases and hit the field before the game.

Orioles: General manager Mike Elias has confirmed RHP Michael Baumann was arrested after straining an elbow flexor muscle at the team’s alternative training site. One of Baltimore’s top prospects, Baumann is expected to be healthy in spring training. … Elias also said he was optimistic about Trey Mancini will be able to play next season. Mancini missed this season while undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Mancini finished his chemotherapy treatment last Tuesday.

CRIME CHEEKY

Villar stole third base on the receiver Pedro Severinoback to the pitcher in the eighth.

ARMED AND DANGEROUS

Hernandez threw hard to catch Ryan Mountcastle trying to stretch a brace in the eighth. It was his seventh assist of the season, tying that of Boston. Alex Verdugo mostly in the majors.

FOLLOWING

Baltimore LHP Keegan Akin (1-2, 3.57) start Sunday’s season finale against RHP Blue Jays Tanner Roark (2-3, 7.01). Akin struck out 24 batters in 15 innings in September.

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