Another walkoff homer gives Blue Jays sweep
Steve Pearce and Kendrys Morales hammered their way into the Blue Jays record book Thursday afternoon as Toronto finished off a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with panache.
There were some casualties en route to the 8-4 win, capped by Pearce’s grand slam in the 10th inning. Manager John Gibbons, starter Marcus Stroman and catcher Russell Martin were all ejected in the fifth inning in a beef with home plate umpire Will Little.
Toronto trailed 3-1 at the time.
Fast forward to the ninth and Morales, whose homer in the ninth had given the Jays a 3-2 walkoff win the night before, hit his second solo home run of the afternoon to tie the game at 4-4.
After a 1-2-3 10th inning by closer Roberto Osuna (3-0), Toronto went to work on former Jay Liam Hendriks (3-2). Walks to Miguel Montero, Justin Smoak and finally Morales with two outs loaded the bases, setting the stage for Pearce to drive home the final nail with a blast deep to left on a 3-2 count.
It marked the first walkoff homers in back-to-back games in franchise history. Pearce beamed as he circled the bases on his second career grand slam and first walkoff homer. He joins George Bell (1988) and Gregg Zaun (2008) as the only Jays to hit a walkoff slam.
“It felt good off the bat,” the soft-spoken Pearce said.
“Our bullpen came in and did a great job and we found a way to get it done. So it was just a great day,” he added.
Now Toronto (48-54) has to keep the wins coming with the Los Angeles Angels coming to town.
It had looked like Marcus Semien’s eighth-inning RBI single would give the Athletics a 4-3 win. But Morales’ ninth-inning blast kept things going.
It was his 20th home run of the season. Morales leads the majors this season with four ninth-inning homers that have helped his team tie or take the lead.