Toronto Blue Jays rout Baltimore Orioles to keep playoff hopes alive

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández, George Springer, Bo Bichette and Danny Jensen jacked long balls to set a club record for homers in one season and Blue Jays playoff hopes on the eve of the final day of the regular season. Maintained.

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The five-homer, 14-hit game backed a 10-strikeout from rookie starter Alec Manoah in Toronto’s 10-1 win against the lowly Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

The Blue Jays have drilled a Major League Baseball-leading 258 homers this season, better than the club record of 257 set in 2010.

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With the New York Yankees losing 12–3 at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Blue Jays (90–71) climbed within a game of the Bronx Bombers in the American League wild-card grapple.

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The Blue Jays and Yankees (91-70) could find themselves in a four-way tie with the Boston Red Sox (90-70) and Seattle Mariners (89-71) at the end of the regular season.

This will mean two tie-breaker games on Monday, with the winner securing two American League wild-card slots and playing on Tuesday. The Red Sox and Mariners played later on Saturday.

The Blue Jays enjoyed a 6–1 lead after the first two innings of 29,916 at the Rogers Center. Guerrero smoked a two-run monster homer from the third deck restaurant in left field in the first inning. His 47th of the year tied the record for homers in a season by a player aged 22 or younger, set by the great Eddie Matthews in 1953.

Hernandez followed with his 32nd homer, a single after Guerrero shot two batters.

In the second inning, a Santiago Espinal single and Jenson’s double finished runners-up in second and third. Springer then cleared the bases with his 20th homer.

Espinal doubled at Lourdes Gurrill Jr., who reached the base of an error from Baltimore shortstop Richie Martin in the third inning.

Springer headed left field in fifth with his 20th homer, and Jensen, with his 11th, set the team record with a two-run, two-out blast and four batters left later.

Espinal was on base after being singled out for his third hit of the afternoon. Springer enjoyed a game of four-for-four.

Manoah (9–2) made his fourth consecutive start to give the Blue Jays an AL-best record of 21–9 record since early September. He surrendered only one hit and one walk in his seven-innings, 89-pitch outing.

The Orioles scored their only run in the second innings. Trey Mancini advanced with a double, moving third on a sacrifice fly from Calvin Gutierrez and second on Ryan McKenna’s grounder.

The Orioles (52–109) would end 2021 with the worst record in the AL and the second-highest loss in the team’s history after 115 in 2018.

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