TORONTO (AP)Randal Grichuk hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Marcus Semien hit a solo home run and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had two hits and two RBIs to help the Blue Jays take two of three from the Orioles.
Toronto scored more than three runs for the third time in its past 13 games. The Blue Jays remain 4 1/2 games behind Boston for the second AL wild card, with Oakland and Seattle in between.
”Every game matters,” Semien said. ”It doesn’t matter how you get it done. We want to be a team that can win any kind of way.”
Tim Mayza (5-2) worked one inning and Jordan Romano finished for his 15th save in 16 chances.
Bo Bichette singled off Dillon Tate (0-5) to begin the eighth and Teoscar Hernandez was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on Alejandro Kirk’s deep fly to center before Marcos Diplan came on to face Grichuk, who knocked in Bichette with a fly ball to center. Hernandez was thrown out trying to advance to third.
”I felt like Diplan had a better chance of punching out Grichuk,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. ”He got the fastball up, Grichuk just got enough of it to get it far enough into the outfield.”
Semien opened the scoring with a one-out homer in the first, his 33rd. That matches his career high, set in 2019.
Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz helped the Orioles take the lead by issuing back-to-back walks with the bases loaded in the second.
”We squandered some opportunities offensively early,” Hyde said. ”Probably could have gotten Matz out of the game in the second inning. The big hit eluded us there.”
Matz allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and matched a season high with four walks.
”I was kind of battling myself a bit today,” Matz said. ”Didn’t have great feel, so I just had to find a way.”
Matz didn’t walk a batter in either of his final two outings in August, when he was 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in five starts.
”Even when he got in trouble, he knows he can get people out,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Hernandez tied it with an RBI single in the fourth, and Gurriel added a two-out, two-run single.
Both hits came off Baltimore right-hander Matt Harvey, who allowed four runs and six hits in four innings.
Austin Wynns cut it to 4-3 with an RBI single off Tayler Saucedo in the sixth. Trey Mancini tied it with an RBI double against Joakim Soria in the seventh.
NO Ks FOR HARVEY
Harvey failed to strike out a batter, the first time that’s happened in 27 starts this season and just the second time in his career. Harvey also failed to record a strikeout exactly one year ago, Sept. 1, 2020, against Cleveland.
Blue Jays: Recalled RHP Nate Pearson and selected RHP Bryan Baker from Triple-A Buffalo.
Orioles: Recalled RHP Dusten Knight and LHP Alexander Wells from Triple-A Norfolk.
Toronto sent two minor leaguers, catcher J.J. D’Orazio and LHP Yaifer Perdomo, to Arizona to complete the July 30 trade for Soria.
Blue Jays: George Springer started at DH after being replaced by a pinch runner in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s loss. Springer returned to the lineup Monday after missing 13 games with a sprained left knee. He went 1 for 4 with a single. . The Blue Jays reinstated RHP Anthony Castro (right ulnar nerve irritation) from the injured list and optioned him to Triple-A.
Blue Jays: Toronto had not announced a starter for the opener of a pivotal three-game home series against Oakland that begins Friday. LHP Sean Manea (8-9, 3.97 ERA) will pitch for the Athletics.
Orioles: LHP John Means (5-6, 3.76 ERA) starts Friday as Baltimore opens a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. LHP Nestor Cortes (2-2, 2.77) goes for New York.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports