Schneider, Blue Jays walk it off in a back and forth, extra inning affair against the Pirates

The Toronto Blue Jays returned home to start their seven game home stand as they hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Toronto was coming off their first sweep of the year, against the Chicago White Sox, and they looked to carry the momentum into their games at home.

The Blue Jays sent Jose Berrios (5-4, 2.94) to the mound to face off against Bailey Falter (3-2, 3.55) for the Pirates.

Berrios threw 7 innings, allowing just one run over six hits, walking none and striking out five as he was handed a no-decision. Falter threw 6 innings, allowing just two hits, no runs, walking two and striking out five as he too, was given a no decision.

The starters held both offences in check until the top of the 5th, when longtime Pirate Andrew McCutchen drove in the first run of the game to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Jays would be kept scoreless until the bottom of the 7th, when Daniel Vogelbach pinch hit for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Vogelbach got a hold of one, hitting what looked like an inning ending line out. But Pirates centre fielder Ji Hwan Bae lost the ball in the lights, by the time he realized where the ball was, it was too late. George Springer rounded third and scored on Vogelbach’s hard hit double, tying the game at one.

The game would stay tied at one past 9 innings, sending the Blue Jays and the Pirates to extra innings.

The Pirates would break through in the top of the 11th, with Bryan Reynolds hitting a sacrifice fly. Springer made a spectacular diving catch in right field, but unfortunately, it gave Bae enough time to tag up and score, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. Springer would keep the game going in the bottom half, with an RBI single to tie the game once again but this time at two runs apiece.

In the top half of the 11th, Pittsburgh would score the go ahead run on another sacrifice fly, this time from Ke’Bryan Hayes, scoring Connor Joe for a 3-2 lead. Kevin Kiermaier would respond with a sac fly of his own, driving in Cavan Biggio to tie the game at three.

The Blue Jays’ and Pirates’ bullpens would keep the game at 3-3 for the next two innings. Then, in the bottom of the 14th, Davis Schneider, who had gone 0 for 5 with three strikeouts earlier in the game, stepped up to the plate. Schneider, feeling he needed to redeem himself, surely did, taking Pirates reliever Kyle Nicolas deep for a two run walk off homer, giving the Blue Jays a 5-3 victory in a long, 14 inning game that lasted almost four hours.

For game two of the series, Toronto will send Yusei Kikuchi (2-4, 2.35) to face off against Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller (6-3, 3.59) tomorrow afternoon.

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