Blue Jays win on Pearce’s slam reprise

Windsor Star - - SPORTS - RICHARD MAUNTAH richard.mauntah@sun­

TORONTO We have reached base­ball’s non-waiver trade dead­line, and we’ll know late Mon­day if the Toronto Blue Jays will look any dif­fer­ent than the team does now. But if Sun­day was their last day as a group, it was a day to re­mem­ber.

Steve Pearce com­pleted one of the most in­cred­i­ble weeks a hit­ter could have, cap­ping off an im­prob­a­ble come­back for the Jays in an 1110 win over the Los Angeles An­gels on Sun­day in Toronto.

Pearce be­came just the third ma­jor-lea­guer after Cy Wil­liams (in 1926) and Jim Pres­ley (1986) to hit two walk-off grand slams in a sea­son. He did so just four days after hit­ting his first to com­plete a four-game sweep of the Oak­land A’s. While that one broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th, Sun­day’s blast com­pleted the big­gest bot­tom-ofthe-ninth come­back in Blue Jays history.

Half of the 46,852 who also saw the first eight in­nings of the game wit­nessed the his­toric in­ning. The other half were al­ready in their cars or on pub­lic tran­sit, more than likely kick­ing them­selves.

Matt Der­mody picked up his first ca­reer win after giv­ing up just one earned run in the fi­nal three in­nings. An­gels closer Bud Nor­ris (1-3) took the loss and will prob­a­bly be think­ing about this one for a long time.

“You never see those com­ing with that big of a deficit,” man­ager John Gib­bons said. “Our guys hung around, got good at-bats late and took ad­van­tage of a lit­tle wild­ness.”

The Jays (49-56) avoided a sweep by the An­gels (51-55) as they be­gin a tough road trip to the south side of Chicago and to league-lead­ing Hous­ton.

Trail­ing 10-4, Brooks Pounders came in to pitch for the An­gels and gave up a sin­gle to Ryan Goins. Kevin Pil­lar then clubbed his 12th home run of the sea­son. After Rob Ref­s­ny­der dou­bled to left, Pounders was pulled for Nor­ris, who im­me­di­ately gave up a sin­gle to Eze­quiel Car­rera. Rus­sell Martin then hit a slow grounder to third that scored Ref­s­ny­der, pulling the Jays to within three with none out.

After Justin Smoak grounded out to ad­vance the runners, Kendrys Mo­rales drew a walk to load the bases with Dar­win Bar­ney com­ing in as a pinch-run­ner. Then with the count 2-0, Pearce drilled Nor­ris’s fi­nal of­fer­ing to left field.

“He missed a cou­ple of pitches really bad early,” Pearce said. “I was able to really lock in. When you are up 2-0, you’ve earned the right to look for your pitch, and he gave it to me.”

Steve Pearce

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