For fans not lucky enough to score a ticket for Tuesday night's do-or-die American League wildcard game against the Baltimore Orioles, which the Jays will host at 8 p.m.at the Rogers Centre, Nathan Phillips square will offer all the excitement for free.
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Toronto still had a chance to host the AL wild-card game, and Sanchez wanted the win. The Blue Jays hit 29 home runs in the season series, while Baltimore had 28.
"We're really very similar teams if you break it down", Gibbons said. "Everybody knows what a good pitcher Bumgarner is, but we have a good pitcher, too", Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes said through an interpreter. "You're playing a team from your division, there's no secrets". The victor heads to Texas to play the AL West champion Rangers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.
The challenge of controlling two powerful lineups will fall on the starting pitchers.
The Orioles are likely to counter with either Chris Tillman or Ubaldo Jimenez, who both pitched well in Toronto last week.
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"I think Stro is the ideal guy", Gibbons said. Big game. We've seen him do it before.
Last season, the Rogers Centre provided one of the best baseball backdrops that we've seen in a long, long time. However, in a "Winner Take All" affair, you can throw most regular season stats out the window. "We're glad he's available".
"Chris has been one of their top guys the last few years", said Gibbons. "I think he's the ideal guy". "It's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes". He was in the previous year of his contract. Denard Span was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored to back Matt Moore, who was reached for just one run and three hits over eight innings. Tillman is 5-10 with a 5.44 ERA in 24 career starts against the Blue Jays.
Given the stakes, Showalter said he'd consider using Britton for an extended outing. "This season, Davis" (.221, 38 HR, 84 RBI) and Trumbo's (.256, 47, 108) power bats are actually the complementary pieces to one of the game's best all-around players in third baseman Manny Machado (.294, 37, 96, 40 2B, .878 OPS).
"I've been in this position before", Stroman said. "One through nine, there are no easy outs". "Each pitch you have has to be executed".
Stroman entered the season as the expected staff ace, a role that was again left vacant after David Price's brief tenure with the Blue Jays in 2015.
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Both teams finished with a 89-73 record, but Toronto had the edge in the regular season series (10-9), which gives it home-field advantage.
- The Toronto Blue Jays have clinched an AL wild-card spot.
"There's got to be something to be said for experiencing those kind of games", Gibbons said. Toronto has several pending free agents, including Bautista, Encarnacion, Saunders, Cecil and RHP R.A. Dickey.
The early expectation is that Stroman will get the ball with Liriano available out of the bullpen, but it won't be made official until this afternoon. The Orioles had not yet finalized their roster.
RAYS 6, RANGERS 4 (10 INNINGS): At Arlington, Texas, Alexei Ramirez had four hits, including a 10th-inning double before scoring, and Tampa Bay ended another losing season with a victory over AL West champion Texas.
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