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Edwin Encarnacion blasts Toronto Blue Jays to 11-inning, wild-card win

By Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
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Edwin Encarnacion blasts Toronto Blue Jays to 11-inning, wild-card win
Toronto Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion celebrates his game-winning three-run home run in the eleventh inning of the AL wild card game against the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Photo by Darren Calabrese/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Tuesday night in the American League wild-card game.

The Blue Jays will open the American League Division Series on Thursday against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

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Baltimore left-hander Brian Duensing struck out Ezequiel Carrera to open the bottom of the 11th. Duensing was then replaced by right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who gave up singles to Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson that put runners at the corners.

Encarnacion then ended the game with the first-pitch home run.

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Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed four hits, one walk and two runs and struck out four in 4 1/3 innings.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman allowed four hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings.

Jose Bautista hit a solo homer for Toronto.

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Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer for Baltimore.

Blue Jays right-hander Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect top of the ninth before Donaldson led off the bottom of the inning with a double to left against Brad Brach.

Encarnacion was walked intentionally. Bautista struck out. Right-hander Darren O'Day replaced Brach, and Russell Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play.

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Osuna retired Chris Davis on a fly ball to right to open the 10th before leaving with an apparent injury.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano took over from Osuna and retired the final two batters of the 10th and also worked a perfect 11th for the win.

After Stroman retired the first six batters, Bautista led off the bottom of the second with his fifth career postseason home run, drilling a 3-1 fastball to left field. It gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

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Bautista was in swing mode, fouling off the 3-0 pitch. He did not miss the next pitch.

Adam Jones led off the fourth with a single to right to give the Orioles their first baserunner. Jones took second when Hyun Soo Kim grounded out to first, but he had to hold at second when center fielder Kevin Pillar made a diving catch on Manny Machado's drive into the gap in right center.

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Trumbo put the Orioles into a 2-1 lead when he homered to left on a first-pitch fastball.

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Tillman retired eight consecutive batters after the home run before walking Bautista with two outs in the fourth. Martin grounded out to second to end the inning.

Michael Saunders doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Pillar followed with a double to right that Michael Bourn just missed tracking down. Saunders had to make sure the ball dropped, and as a result, he only made third.

Carrera tied the game 2-2 with a single to center. Mychal Givens replaced Tillman with runners at the corners and one out. Givens' first pitch resulted in a 5-4-3 double play grounder from Devon Travis.

NOTES: The Orioles appeared in the American League wild-card game for the second time. They defeated the Texas Rangers in 2012. It was the first appearance in the wild-card game for the Blue Jays. ... Toronto led the American League in regular-season attendance, averaging 41,878 for a total of 3,392,099 -- the fifth-highest total in franchise history and the seventh-highest average. ... Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez led the AL in earned-run average at 3.00, and the Blue Jays became the first team in major league history to lead the league in starters' innings without a complete game. ... Orioles LHP Zach Britton finished the regular season 47-for-47 in save opportunities. His 0.54 ERA (four earned runs in 67 innings) was the lowest in major league history among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched -- but he never got into the wild-card game.

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