Blue Jays beat Orioles 5-1 in AL wild-card showdown

Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Aaron Sanchez pitched six solid innings as the Toronto Blue Jays downed the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Tuesday in a matchup of American League wild-card holders.

Travis left the game Monday in the sixth inning because of a sore shoulder, the result of a second-inning bench-clearing incident with the New York Yankees. Second-baseman Devon Travis, who has been the Jays' most consistent hitter with a batting average that's hovered near.300 since returning from shoulder surgery in May, was removed from the game in the sixth inning and is believed to have re-injured his surgically-repaired shoulder in the melee.

Benoit, 39, said he felt a pop in his leg while running out of the bullpen to join the fracas. It is expected that more will be known about the extent of the problem on Tuesday. They entered yesterday's game with a 1 game lead over the Orioles for the top Wild Card spot but managed to win game one of the series 5-1.

Mark Trumbo drove in the lone run for the Orioles (85-72) and Kevin Gausman (8-12) allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.

The Blue Jays kept tightening the noose with aggressive play.

"We're going to come back against Baltimore ready to go", said Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who was deprived of his 21st win by New York's ninth-inning rally. Adam Jones, who is now 2-for-20 (.100) against Sanchez, struck out in all three at-bats against him.

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Right-hander Kevin Gausman was the Orioles' best shot at a quality start here. You could tell the Yankees were fired up, and rightly so, and Tex showed that emotion as this was quite possibly his last home game as he's retiring at the end of the season. Instead of looking at all things you shoulda, woulda, coulda done to make it a little bit easier, I look at all the things that our guys have done to have this opportunity. They certainly have no shortage of emotion and if you're going to play like that than you got to got to expect to get some of it back. Sanchez has not received a decision in any of his past three starts, with the Blue Jays losing all three.

Ubaldo Jimenez (7-12, 5.71 ERA) will get the nod against Marcus Stroman (9-9, 4.34 ERA) in the series finale. In 11 career games (six starts) versus Toronto, Gausman has recorded a 2-2 record along with a 4.15 ERA.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons feels his team is ready for the final push.

"Some teams have been taking pot shots at us all year long and some guys just got exhausted of it", Gibbons said.

"Sometimes you've got to deal with things, man, because one thing that's key to the success of the team is that they stay and stick together", said Gibbons. "I didn't even have like any acute pain when I first got out of the scrum - my adrenaline was high", he said. They don't get too low. "You have to demonstrate resilience and toughness and it will be one more challenge we have to face if there's a direct outcome". The guys don't hang their heads or shut it down.

Estrada said even though Boston is nearly certain to win the AL East, until they do, the players are focussed on repeating as AL East champs.

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