BALTIMORE – Cavan Biggio homered and had three RBIs to offset a spectacular, homer-robbing catch by Austin Hays, and the Toronto Blue Jays used a six-run seventh inning to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Thursday night for a three-game sweep.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, who scored 27 runs in their first sweep at Camden Yards since July 2010.
Hays’ catch — and the rookie’s enthusiasm in making it — belied the unimportance of a matchup between two teams that long ago dropped out of contention in the AL East.
After Biggio and Gurriel homered off Gabriel Ynoa (1-9) within a span of three pitches in the fourth inning, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sent a drive to centre. Hays ran to the warning track, leaped to reach over the 7-foot wall and snagged the ball in the middle of his glove.
Upon returning to the ground, Hays pounded his chest three times in succession and yelled with delight. Realizing he had been robbed on his way toward second base, Guerrero showed his appreciation for the play by taking off his helmet and waving it in Hays’ direction.
Hays, chomping hard on his gum, lifted his cap over his head and pumped it up and down twice as a way of thanking Guerrero.
The night became even more memorable for Hays in the eighth, when he hit his second big league home run. The first came during his previous stint with the Orioles in 2017.
Though denied by Hays earlier, Guerrero hit a two-run double in the pivotal seventh inning after Biggio singled in a pair of runs.
Anthony Kay (1-0) earned his first major league victory by pitching four innings in relief of opener Wilmer Font.
Trey Mancini had four hits for the Orioles, who have lost four straight and 15 of 19.
Ryan Mountcastle has been named Baltimore’s top minor league player for 2019.
Mountcastle played first base, third base and left field for Triple-A Norfolk. A 2015 first-round pick, the 22-year-old hit .312 with 35 doubles, 25 homers and 83 RBIs as MVP of the International League.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what he looks like next spring,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Right-handers Mike Baumann and Grayson Rodriguez were named the club’s top minor league pitchers.
Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette was removed for concussion protocol a couple innings after being struck in the left side of his batting helmet by a sixth-inning pitch from Ynoa. … Guerrero was obviously feeling chipper after leaving Wednesday’s game with an apparent rib injury. “Just a little contusion on his side but he’s fine,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. … Gurriel is still recovering from a left quad strain that put him on the IL for more than a month. “He’s not 100 per cent, so I think that’s big for him to learn how to play that way,” Montoyo said.
Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey was shut down for the season on Wednesday with soreness in his biceps. He made a positive impression in seven games as a reliever with the Orioles, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA. “He looked great in that late-inning role,” Hyde said.
Blue Jays: Toronto continues a 22-game stretch against AL East foes at Yankee Stadium on Friday night in the opener a three-game set.
Orioles: It’s going to be a bullpen game for Baltimore on Friday night against Seattle for the final series of the year at Camden Yards.
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