Blue Jays rout Orioles but get no help, miss playoffs


TORONTO (AP) — George Springer hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched his 48th homer as the Toronto Blue Jays romped to a 12-4 blowout of the Baltimore Orioles that wasn’t enough to avoid playoff elimination Sunday.

Toronto needed to win, and a loss by the Yankees or Red Sox on the final day of the regular season to force at least a tiebreaker game Monday for an AL wild-card spot. But the Blue Jays’ hopes were dashed when Boston rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Washington 7-5 on a two-run homer by Rafael Devers in the top of the ninth inning that silenced stunned Toronto fans at Rogers Centre who stuck around to watch on the big video board.

A little earlier, New York edged Tampa Bay 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the ninth to clinch a postseason berth.

Hyun Jin Ryu (14-10) pitched five innings to win for the first time since Sept. 6, Marcus Semien hit a solo home run and Tesocar Hernández had three hits and three RBIs as the Blue Jays scored in each of the first five innings.

Tyler Nevin hit his first career home run for Baltimore, a 442-foot drive into the fourth deck off Ryu, but the Orioles finished a distant last in the AL East at 52-110.

The Blue Jays (91-71) hit four home runs in Game 162 to finish with 262, the highest total in the majors this season and the most in Toronto history.

Springer’s home runs were his 21st and 22nd, his 18th career multihomer game and fourth of 2021.

Springer gave the Blue Jays an early advantage with a leadoff homer against right-hander Bruce Zimmermann in the first. It was the 43rd leadoff home run of his career and fourth this season.

Springer made it 9-1 with his grand slam off Eric Hanhold in the third, the sixth slam of his career.

Guerrero drove in Springer when he homered off Marcos Diplán in the second, matching Kansas City’s Saldavor Perez for the major league lead. Guerrero also broke a tie with Eddie Matthews (1953) for the most home runs in one season by a player 22 or younger.

Making his second start after a stint on the injured list because of a sore neck, Ryu allowed six hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out seven.

Nate Pearson, Julian Merryweather, Jacob Barnes and Adam Cimber all worked one inning for Toronto.

Zimmermann (4-5) faced seven batters before being replaced. He allowed five hits and three runs.


Former Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero posted a photo on social media showing all four games in the AL wild-card race airing on different television screens in a room of his home. “Added a 4th tv for the madness today,” Romero wrote. “I’m not moving all day.”


Blue Jays: Toronto had not announced reporting dates for spring training 2022. The Blue Jays begin exhibition play Feb. 26 against Minnesota.

Orioles: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 15, position players on Feb. 20 and the first full workout is Feb. 21. Baltimore begins its 2022 spring training schedule Feb. 26 against the Yankees.


Ian Harrison, The Associated Press