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MLB: In thick of wild-card chase, Blue Jays hold off Orioles

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Danny Jansen hit a two-run home run and had three RBIs, left-hander Steven Matz pitched into the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to defeat the visiting Baltimore Orioles 6-4 Friday night.

Corey Dickerson added a solo home run and Cavan Biggio had three hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays (89-71) in the opener of a three-game series.

Pat Valaika hit a two-run home run and Kelvin Gutierrez hit a solo shot for the Orioles (52-108). Austin Hays added two hits and threw out a runner at home for Baltimore.

The Blue Jays remained one game behind the Boston Red Sox (90-70), who won against the Washington Nationals, for the second wild-card slot. Toronto pulled into a tie with the Seattle Mariners (89-71), who later lost against the Los Angeles Angels.

Matz (14-7) allowed two runs, six hits and one walk in seven-plus innings. He struck out five. Jordan Romano pitched 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts to earn his 23rd save.

Orioles right-hander Thomas Eshelman (0-3) allowed two runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays’ Santiago Espinal led off the third with a single, and Jansen followed with his 10th home run of the season.

Baltimore’s Pedro Severino extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning single, but he was erased on a double play grounder. Tyler Nevin followed with a double.

The Blue Jays threatened in the bottom of the fifth, but Hays snuffed out the rally when he threw out Biggio at the plate after Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s flyout to shallow right. Biggio started the inning with a single against Fernando Abad and took third on Marcus Semien’s single. Brooks Kriske came in to face Guerrero.

Dickerson hit his sixth home run of the season with two outs in the sixth to start a four-run inning. Espinal doubled and scored on Jansen’s double, and Biggio hit an RBI single. Isaac Mattson replaced Kriske, and Biggio scored from second on George Springer’s infield single.

Gutierrez led off the Baltimore eighth with his third homer of the season. Nevin followed with a walk, and after Adam Cimber replaced Matz, Valaika smacked his fifth home run of the season.

Cedric Mullins then was hit by a pitch with one out and Ryan Mountcastle singled. Cimber was replaced by Romano, who allowed Trey Mancini’s two-out RBI single. Severino walked to load the bases before Gutierrez bounced out to third.

Romano struck out the side in the ninth.

–Field Level Media

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