TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 47th home run of the season and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their chance of advancing to the playoffs to the final day of the regular season by beating the Baltimore Orioles 10-1 on Saturday.
Toronto hit five homers, while Alek Manoah allowed one hit in seven innings. The Blue Jays thus approached a game for the New York Yankees and Boston, who for now share the top in the fight for wild card tickets for the American League playoffs.
“It is October and we are looking to move forward,” Manoah said. “We just focus on what we can control.”
At the start of the day, Toronto was tied with Seattle, who played later.
The Blue Jays are 2-0 at the start of October, after posting a 20-9 record in September.
“It’s amazing how confident we’re playing with,” Manoah said. “Everything is working: our bullpen, our starters, our hitting.”
George Springer, Teoscar Hernández, Bo Bichette and Danny Jansen provided the other home runs for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 285 home runs, a franchise record that surpassed 257 in 2010.
Baltimore has allowed 254 home runs, the worst in the majors.
Guerrero winced as he turned for first base, hitting a double in the sixth inning. After a review by the kinesiologists, the Dominican remained in the meeting.
He hit a fly ball that ended the eighth inning and was replaced at first by Cavan Biggio in the ninth.
Manoah (9-2) retired his last 12 enemies and struck out 10.
The loss went to John Means (6-9), who received Guerrero’s home run in the first inning. The Dominican approached one of the Venezuelan Salvador Pérez, from Kansas City, the home run leader of the season.
For the Orioles, Kelvin Gutiérrez 3-0.
For the Blue Jays, the Dominicans Guerrero 5-2 with one scored and two RBIs, Hernández 4-1 with one scored and one RBI, Santiago Espinal 4-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Cuban Lourdes Gurriel 4-0 with a run scored.