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As impressive as he has been in his young career, the Blue Jays have little idea which Roberto Osuna they are going to see on a given day.
On a sunny afternoon at Camden Yards it was the dark cloud version of the Jays closer who blew a save for a major-league high ninth time this season.
The latest hiccup from Osuna was done in spectacular fashion too as Orioles catcher Welington Castillo led off the ninth by crushing an Osuna offering over the wall in left field to tie the score at 4-4.
It took a while for the damage to be fully maximized, but a Mark Trumbo walk off single in the 12th took care of it, leading the Orioles to a 5-4 win.
The win allowed the Orioles to salvage a split of the four-game series and keep them in the thick of the AL playoff race. The Jays, meanwhile, suffered their 13th walk off defeat of the season as they fell to 5-12 in extra innings.
Osuna was able to pitch himself out of a jam to allow the Jays to take it to extra innings.
Recent call up Carlos Ramirez came on to pitch a scoreless 10th and 11th, giving him four scoreless innings in his major-league career, all of them in extras.
But when Danny Barnes came in for the 12th, there was more trouble. Jonathan Schoop got things started with a leadoff double, setting the stage for Trumbo’s walk off heroics.
Back to Osuna — on the one hand, he is second in saves in the American League with 35. On the other hand, he’s had some rather pronounced meltdowns, especially since he participated in his first all star game back in July. His nine blown saves are the third most in a season by a Jays reliever.
The Jays had taken a 4-3 lead into the ninth thanks in large part to a three-run Josh Donaldson homer way back in the third inning. But the Orioles chipped away at the lead with Castillo’s first bomb of the afternoon, a solo shot in the third and another from Mark Trumbo in the fourth.
Though the Orioles had far more at stake than their opponent, it was yet another example of how the Jays have maddeningly made life difficult for themselves throughout the 2017 season.
The three-run homer continued Donaldson’s power surge at the plate and allowed the Jays to sprint out to a 3-0 lead against the O’s.
Donaldson, who knew he hit it out of the park as soon as he made contact, took a nice long stare as it cleared the wall in right centre for his 25th homer of the season. It was Donaldson’s 10th home run in his past 20 games and 16 in 34. The Bringer of Rain leads the AL with 16 homers since July 27, the kind of numbers that helped him to an MVP season in 2015.
The blast was the third baseman’s 200th extra-base hit as a Jay.
The Jays record fell to 63-74 as they take this seven-game road trip to Boston for a three-game series starting on Monday at Fenway Park.
Jays left-hander Brett Andersen, making his second start for the team, went six innings allowing seven hits while throwing just 59 pitches.
Bench coach DeMarlo Hale was once again the man in charge as John Gibbons missed a second consecutive game to attend to what the team is calling “personal business” back home in Texas … The Jays bullpen continues to shoulder a solid workload, adding three more innings on Sunday to increase their season total to 498.1 innings, tops in the AL … Urena’s groundout was his first out in four big-league plate appearances (double, walk, walk, ground out.) … Donaldson helped the cause defensively when he got his glove up just in time to avoid having his head taken off by a 113 mph line drive from Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop for the first out of the inning … Another day, another roster move for the Jays. Pitcher Chris Rowley was recalled on Sunday adding more bullpen depth for the team.
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