TORONTO – That was playoff baseball.
Say what you want about the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays and how neither team could seize a playoff spot until the very end of the season.
But they engaged in a tremendous battle Tuesday night here, one that ended with Edwin Encarnacion’s walkoff, three-run homer against Ubaldo Jimenez to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 win in 11 innings.
There were so many key decisions and so many memorable moments, from Mark Trumbo’s first postseason homer, to Mychal Givens’ tremendous outing to Hyun Soo Kim dodging a can of beer in left field while making an inning-ending catch.
In the end, manager Buck Showalter’s decision to bring in Jimenez, who nearly got the start in this game, proved costly.
But honestly, that’s what happens in the 11th inning of a game.
The lingering question was why did Zach Britton, the Orioles’ best pitcher, never enter. The easy answer is that Showalter was waiting for the spot, perhaps a save situation. And the rest of the bullpen did its job.
Ultimately, the Orioles season ends with a huge blast against one of their biggest rivals.
The Blue Jays go to Texas; the Orioles go home.