Pearce again — with walkoff ‘granny’

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NICK PATCH

TORONTO — With his sec­ond walk-off grand slam in less than a week, Steve Pearce lifted the Jays to a mirac­u­lous 11-10 come­back win over the Los An­ge­les An­gels Sun­day to avoid a three-game sweep.

The An­gels held a 10-4 lead en­ter­ing the fi­nal frame and many of the 46,852 in the sold-out crowd had al­ready left the sta­dium. But Pearce launched a fast­ball from An­gels closer Bud Nor­ris into left field to com­plete the big­gest ninth-in­ning come­back in Blue Jays’ his­tory.

Af­ter, he was at a loss to ex­plain his re­cent flair for the dra­matic.

“Feels great. Re­ally hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Pearce, who was asked if the grand slam from Thurs­day’s win over Oak­land gave him any ex­tra con­fi­dence.

“You never see those com­ing with that big a deficit,” said Toronto man­ager John Gib­bons. “Pearce with a granny to win it — that’s re­ally rare in this game.”

Pearce be­came just the third player in MLB his­tory with two walk-off grand slams in one sea­son.

Toronto’s rally comes a day af­ter the An­gels stunned the Jays (49-56) with a dra­matic ninth-in­ning come­back of their own. Matt Der­mody got the win af­ter pitching three in­nings of re­lief with­out giv­ing up an earned run.

Al­bert Pu­jols home­red twice for the An­gels (51-55), who seemed to be in cruise con­trol un­til Toronto’s wild ninth in­ning.

Kevin Pil­lar be­gan the rally with a two-run homer and in­fielder Rob Ref­s­ny­der dou­bled to chase An­gels re­liever Brooks Pounders. With Nor­ris tak­ing over on the mound, Eze­quiel Car­rera and Rus­sell Martin sin­gled to cut the lead to 10-7 and, af­ter Justin Smoak grounded out, Kendrys Mo­rales walked to set the ta­ble for Pearce’s hero­ics.

“He missed pretty bad on the first two pitches so I was re­ally able to lock in on the next pitch,” Pearce said.

Ce­sar Valdez started for the Blue Jays, and af­ter the jour­ney­man right-han­der picked up his first win in over seven years with a solid start against Oak­land Tues­day, it was im­me­di­ately clear he wasn’t go­ing to be as sharp. With Mike Trout on base in the first in­ning, Pu­jols sent the eighth pitch of the game into the left-field seats to give the An­gels a 2-0 lead.

Though Car­rera re­sponded with a lead­off homer in the bot­tom of the in­ning, the Jays and Valdez un­rav­elled in a messy third. In­fielder Kaleb Cowart led off with a triple, for­mer Jay Yunel Es­co­bar fol­lowed with a dou­ble, Trout walked and Pu­jols sin­gled for a 4-1 lead. Be­fore the in­ning was over, An­drel­ton Sim­mons dou­bled in two to chase Valdez be­fore Ben Re­vere added an RBI sin­gle to put the An­gels up 7-1.

Still, the An­gels kept com­ing, adding runs in the fifth, and the sixth, when Pu­jols hit his 16th homer. Luis Val­buena would add a sac­ri­fice fly in the ninth to give Los An­ge­les what should have been an in­sur­mount­able 10-4 lead.

With the sum­mer they’ve had, the Blue Jays were thank­ful the wild game leaned their way.

“It’s a crazy day,” Gib­bons said. “You don’t see that com­ing.”


Steve Pearce, right, high-fives Mar­cus Stro­man, af­ter his walkoff grand slam Sun­day. The Jays trailed 10-4 go­ing into the bot­tom of the ninth, win­ning 11-10.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.