Blue Jays win on Pearce’s slam reprise
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.”