Tempers flared and the benches cleared as the Baltimore Orioles notched a crucial 9-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Both AL East teams are locked in an intense battle for the American League’s final Wild Card.
The Orioles continue to defy all odds and remain in contention for their first postseason appearance in six years. However, it’s the Blue Jays who currently hold a 3.5 game advantage with less than four weeks of regular season action remaining.
Given what’s at stake, the encounter felt like Game 7 of the World Series. The benches cleared midway through the seventh after Baltimore Orioles reliever Bryan Baker made hand gestures to the Blue Jays dugout. This occured after striking out Matt Chapman.
"Benches clear between the O's and Jays after Bryan Baker stares down the Toronto dugout" - Jomboy Media
As the melee unfolded, Baker was walked off the field by Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman. It didn’t end there, as the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez were ready for a proper confrontation. Both had to be held back by the Orioles’ Jorge Mateo.
After the game, Baker clarified how he saw things. He did acknowledge that he should have handled the situation better.
“It was nothing towards their team or anything. It was just kind of letting him know that I know that he’s talking. There’s really no issue with the team or anything like that. I don’t think that there’s any bad blood or anything like that. I was just letting him know that really.” - Bryan Baker
Baker spent three years under the Blue Jays umbrella before being claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles last year.
Blue Jays interim coach wasn’t happy with officiating during Baltimore Orioles clash
Blue Jays interim coach John Schneider was ejected during the bottom of the seventh. He came out to give plate umpire Jeff Nelson an earful.
His dismissal was related to balls and strikes. The Blue Jays have a history with umpire Nelson, who previously ejected former manager Charlie Montoyo in April for similar conduct.
Nevertheless, Schneider wasn’t pleased with Bryan Baker’s lack of discipline.
“I didn’t understand why Bryan Baker was looking into our dugout after giving up a run on back-to-back days” - John Schneider.
The Blue Jays claimed the first two games of the four-match series. The Orioles’ victory last night set them up nicely to split the bragging rights. More importantly, it’s a chance for Baltimore to edge one step closer to their playoff dreams.
At the time of writing, both sides were tied 1-1 after two innings.