Blue Jays barely hang on to a 6-5 win, splitting their series with the Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the team almost blew a 6-3 lead in the ninth inning, but the Jays were able to hang on to a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles as they split their second straight series with the Orioles.

Yimi Garcia came in to close it out for Toronto in the ninth, as the reliever has been a bright spot in the bullpen. After Garcia hit Austin Hays with two outs, Ryan O’Hearn had fans in the Rogers Centre worried as the pinch-hitter blasted a two-run homer, bringing the Orioles within one run.

Luckily, Garcia was able to strike out Kyle Stowers and preserve the game. But there were many other positives for Toronto in this game.

For the first time in the series, Toronto managed to strike first. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. belted a three-run homer in the third inning, putting the Jays up 3-0. Guerrero Jr. collected two hits in the game and is hitting .345 over his last 15 games.

Another hot Blue Jay is Justin Turner, collecting two hits and a walk in the game. While the month of June has only been six days, Turner now has six hits, inclduing two doubles in just four games.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the hero for the Jays in last night’s game, drove in another run for Toronto this series as the Jays sat with a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Even the bottom of the order contributed to the Jays lineup. Ernie Clement hit a two-run single in the sixth to cushion Toronto’s lead.

Toronto’s lineup got to Orioles SP Cade Povich, who was making his MLB debut. Povich surrendered six earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched and only struck out two batters.

All this offence backed up Jays SP Yusei Kikuchi, who needed a good start after surrendering 10 runs in his last two starts.

Kikuchi was lights out for Toronto, pitching 6 innings and striking out six Orioles; his only mistake came against Adley Rutschman, who hit a solo home run of the LHP in the sixth. Kikuchi has now only allowed three earned runs in 10.1 pitched this season facing Baltimore.

Rutschman homered once again in the eighth, driving in two runs, which was part of Baltimore’s late-inning comeback. Rutschman is on a hot streak, posting a .973 OPS over his last seven games.

Toronto and Baltimore are 3-3 against each other this year. Currently, the Jays are the only American League East team that isn’t losing their season series against the Orioles. Baltimore is 7-3 facing the Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox’s.

The Jays will see a lot more of their A.L. East rivals this month, as they are scheduled to face the Boston Red Sox twice in June and the New York Yankees at the end of the month.

Toronto will take a flight and head out west to start a three-game series in Oakland on Friday. The Jays will send Chris Bassit (6-6, 4.13) to face his former team. Bassit spent six years in Oakland, pitching to a 3.65 ERA over that span. Meanwhile, the Athletics have yet to announce their starter for the opener.

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