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BIRD BATH: Blue Jays score 22 runs to finish off record-shattering weekend against Orioles – Toronto Sun



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Turns out there was a lopsided laugher in the Blue Jays visit to Baltimore after all.


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And an embarrassment to all things Orioles, really.

Inning by inning, at-bat, by at-bat, the Jays shattered all sorts of franchise records on Sunday, rolling to a humiliating 22-7 win over the overmatched O’s.

The punch-out to follow a pair of late-inning explosions in a doubleheader sweep on Saturday allowed the Jays to take three of four from the last-place O’s and cap off a sizzling 7-1 road trip that included a four-game sweep at Yankee Stadium.

A September to remember? The Jays are 11-1 in the month thus far, making their longest sustained run of the season at the precise time it was needed most. And with the White Sox walking off the Red Sox, the Jays find themselves with a share of the top American League wild-card spot.


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Wildness all around, it turns out.

Playing their most explosive offensive baseball of the season — which is saying something — the Jays return to Toronto for a six-game homestand on Monday in possession of an American League playoff spot.

With 44 runs in their past three games, the Jays improved to 80-63, more games above .500 than they were at the end of the 2016 season.

And they are certainly sending a loud message to the competition after churning up massive ground in the playoff race over the past two weeks.

“I think we’re putting pressure on everyone else,” said Sunday’s starter, Steven Matz said. “That’s what we want — the pressure to be on them. They know within one inning we can score 10 runs and that’s a pretty special thing.


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“(The offence) is pretty indescribable. It speaks for itself. It’s insane.”

On Sunday, the Jays started the game with a single, a pair of walks, a hit batter and a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. grand slam. Before Orioles starter Zac Lowther had even recorded an out, the Jays were up 5-0.

And then it got much uglier for the home side.

The Jays scored another run in the second — on Vlad Guerrero’s 44th homer of the season — and put up a 10-spot in the third. Essentially, they turned plate appearances into extended batting practice in a game in which they belted five more homers, including another grand slam from Teoscar Hernandez.

The hits — and the records — just kept on coming as we attempt to recap here:

  • Let’s start with the wild-haired outfielder Gurriel, whose two-homer game was his fourth of the season, making him the first Jays hitter to do so. 
  • Gurriel’s seven RBIs, five runs scored and three walks on the day were all career-highs. His fifth-inning bomb travelled 460 feet, making it the longest of his career.
  • The 47 runs the Jays scored were the most they’ve ever put up in a four-game series, topping the 42 set against the Orioles way back in 1978.
  • The 16 runs in the first three innings were the most in club history. And with the 11 they put up in the seventh inning on Saturday night, the 27 they scored in a four-inning span were the most in MLB history.It was also just the third time in club history that the Jays topped 20 runs in a game.
  • The slam-fest from Hernandez and Gurriel marked the first time two Jays hitters have cleared loaded bases with a homer in one game.
  • With five homers on Sunday, the Jays hit 13 in two days, boosting their MLB lead to 230. They have hit five for more homers in a game seven times this season.


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A one-sided contest from the outset, the Jays took advantage of an Orioles lineup headed for a potential 110-loss season as it drags down the bottom of the AL East standings. And the barrage picked up where the team left off on Saturday night when they scored 11 runs in the seventh (the final inning of the second half of the doubleheader) to record an 11-2 win.

“I’ve never seen anything like that in back-to-back days and I’ve been in the game for 35 years,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “To score 22 … that’s impressive.

“I knew in August we were going to get hot because we’ve got too many good hitters.”

Runs aren’t likely to come so generously when they face the division-leading Rays on Monday at the Rogers Centre, but the dominating road trip has set them up for a serious push towards the playoffs.


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  1. George Springer of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Jarrod Dyson after hitting a go-head two-run home run in the seventh inning of the first game of a doublheader against the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 11, 2021.

    Final-inning comebacks give Jays doubleheader sweep and a share of AL wild-card berth

  2. Blue Jays baserunner Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scores on a wild pitch by Yankees pitcher Lucas Luetge during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium in New York City, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

    Red-hot Blue Jays drop Yankees to keep win streak alive

  3. Breyvic Valera of the Blue Jays celebrates with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on September 4, 2021 in Toronto.

    What playoff pushes are made of: Blue Jays bats light it up to outlast Athletics


Guerrero’s second-inning homer continued his push for one of the most productive slugging seasons in franchise history.

Now at 44, the 22-year-old is tied with Carlos Delgado (1999) for the fourth-highest homer today in a season in club history. It also matched the career-high of his Hall of Fame father Vlad Sr. hit for the Montreal Expos in 2000.

Next on the list for Guerrero is Jose Canseco, who hit 46 in 1998. The club record belongs to Jose Bautista, who clubbed 54 in 2010.

Sunday’s homer pulled Guerrero into a tie with the Angels Shohei Ohtani for the AL lead. It was also his 10th against the Orioles, the most a Jays hitter has hit against one team in a season.


After playing both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader — including his dramatic game-winning homer in the first — George Springer was given the day off to rest his sore knee. Wise move from management given the value a healthy Springer could be during the stretch run and beyond … The blowout allowed the Jays to make a number of late-game substitutions. “It worked out great because we’ve been playing so many games in a row,” Montoyo said … The Hernandez grand slam was just the second of his career and the outfielder scored four runs on the day, a career-high.



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Blue Jays' stadium capacity to rise to 30,000 as Ontario increases limits for sporting and event spaces –



The Toronto Blue Jays will get a home-field advantage boost when they return to Rogers Centre next week.

Seating capacity at the downtown stadium will be doubled to 30,000 starting with Tuesday night’s series opener against the New York Yankees.

The Blue Jays received approval from the Ontario government for the increase on Friday.

Ontario announced Friday it is easing capacity limits in certain sports and event venues that require proof of vaccination.

Starting Saturday, capacity limits at outdoor events where people stand will increase to up to 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less.

For outdoor events where people are seated, capacity limits will be increased to up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people. Proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal capacity is 20,000 people or more.

The Rogers Centre will be treated as an outdoor venue even with the roof closed, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said, citing the building’s ventilation system.

Noting almost 80 per cent of eligible Ontarians are fully vaccinated, Moore said “we are able to recommend cautiously easing capacity limits in certain settings.”

The Blue Jays announced Thursday that they would make additional tickets available for their final home stand next week. They were hopeful that government regulations would be loosened for those six games and any post-season home games should the team qualify.

Forced to play south of the border last season and part of this season due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Blue Jays received clearance to return home in mid-July.

The team played its 2021 Rogers Centre opener on July 30 after receiving a national interest travel exemption from the federal government. The Blue Jays were approved to treat the stadium as an outdoor venue at just less than one-third of the stadium’s regular 49,000-seat capacity.

Other professional teams in the province, including NHL, MLS and CFL clubs, returned to play earlier this year with limited attendance due to government restrictions.

Attendance for Maple Leaf and Raptors games at Scotiabank Arena will be capped at 50 per cent capacity starting Saturday.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, could certainly use the extra boost from a raucous home crowd as Canada’s lone Major League Baseball club makes a push for the post-season.

Toronto, currently wrapping up a road trip with a weekend series in Minnesota, will entertain the Yankees in a critical three-game set before closing out the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles next weekend.

The Blue Jays will open the stadium’s top deck — the 500 level — for the first time this season and additional seats were made available in the 100 and 200 levels. The team would have issued refunds to ticket purchasers if capacity was not expanded.

Team president Mark Shapiro has said the stadium’s retractable roof would be open as long as the weather allows, and additional measures had been taken to ensure proper ventilation.

The Blue Jays require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all fans aged 12 and older upon entering Rogers Centre. A negative COVID-19 test is no longer accepted except for individuals with a doctor’s note indicating they can’t receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions.

The Blue Jays played last year’s condensed schedule at the home field of their triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. The team started the 2021 campaign at its spring training home in Dunedin, Fla., before moving back to Buffalo and then finally to Toronto.

Entering play Friday, Toronto was one game behind New York in the race for the second American League wild-card spot. The Yankees were two games behind the Boston Red Sox, who held the first spot.

The AL wild-card game is scheduled for Oct. 5. The winner advances to a best-of-five AL Division Series starting Oct. 7.

The Blue Jays reached the playoffs last season but were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a best-of-three wild-card series. It was Toronto’s first post-season appearance since 2016.

Toronto’s last World Series title came in 1993.

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Rory McIlroy is sitting a Ryder Cup session for the first time in his career – Golf Channel



SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – For the first time in a storied Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlroy will play the role of cheerleader on Saturday at Whistling Straits.

McIlroy was not in European captain Padraig Harrington’s foursomes lineup after going 0-2, including a 5-and-3 loss to Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in the morning foursomes session, on Day 1 at Whistling Straits. Paired with Shane Lowry in the afternoon fourball session McIlroy lost, 4 and 3.

“He’s already a leader. You saw him out there after a tough day, he was out following those matches and supporting his team,” Harrington said. “He is very much a leader amongst his peers and I couldn’t have asked more from him during the year, I couldn’t have asked more from him today.”

Match scoring for the 43rd Ryder Cup

McIlroy had played 26 consecutive matches (including his singles starts) before Saturday. Because of weather delays in Wales in 2010 that forced officials to combine the second and third sessions he only played four times.

McIlroy’s overall record in the Ryder Cup is now 11-11-4.

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Wiggins denied COVID-19 vaccination exemption by NBA – CTV News



The NBA has denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.

The ruling was announced Friday hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games.

Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply.

Wiggins sought an exemption from the league for religious reasons.

“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’ request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the league said in a statement. “Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”

Unvaccinated players are allowed to play this season, though the NBA has said that they will have to be tested daily on practice and travel days and at least once — possibly more — on game days, while fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.

However, the Knicks, Nets and Warriors face stricter rules because of their local regulations, which the NBA has told teams do not apply to clubs visiting them.

The Knicks are the first of those teams to say they have met the mandate.

“I’m proud to say that our organization — players, coaches and staff — are 100 percent vaccinated,” general manager Scott Perry said Friday. “And I think it’s a credit to our players, too, in particular that they took this thing very seriously and took the responsibility to get that done.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks said earlier this week that a couple players wouldn’t yet be eligible, but he was confident everyone would be able to participate by the time the regular season began on Oct. 19.

Wiggins still has time, as San Francisco’s mandate doesn’t take effect until the middle of next month. Training camps open Tuesday.

The NBA has struck agreements this offseason to have virtually all parties involved in games — referees, coaches, stat-crew workers and anyone else who will be in close proximity to players on or off the court in NBA arenas — vaccinated in order to participate.

The one exception: The players themselves, with the National Basketball Players Association rebuking all efforts from the NBA to mandate that they be vaccinated. About 85% of players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The leaguewide figure is believed to have increased since.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau credited the Knicks’ medical staff for keeping the organization educated and aware about virus protocols. Perry praised the players for acting on the information they were given, saying their decision to get vaccinated was unrelated to any rules.

“As an organization we’re obviously following laws and mandates for the league and state government, but a lot of this was internal, internally driven,” Perry said.


AP basketball writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

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