Dribbler proves costly for Blue Jays, ignites Sox rally

Dribbler proves costly for Blue Jays, ignites Sox rally

BOSTON -- Boston used a four-run rally to send the Blue Jays to a crushing 5-3 loss on Friday night, but the come-from-behind victory might never have happened without a bizarre series of events in the seventh inning.

Before David Ortiz hit the decisive two-run homer, there was a strange play that helped make everything possible. A little dribbler in front of the plate, a Russell Martin error and a ball trapped under a tarp. Just like that, the Blue Jays were in trouble.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Tiebreaker scenarios for Wild Card berths

The six division winners have been decided. However, the two Wild Card races are up in the air, and there is a good chance we end up seeing at least one tiebreaker game on Monday. Also, home-field advantage is still in play in several races.

Any regular-season games previously canceled by weather will be played if the outcome would impact postseason berths or home-field advantage. Thursday's Indians-Tigers game, which was called due to rain, will be played Monday at 1 ET if the game impacts Detroit's chances to make the Wild Card, and/or Cleveland's race with the Red Sox for home field in the ALDS.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays let lead get away, slip to 2nd Wild Card

Blue Jays let lead get away, slip to 2nd Wild Card

BOSTON -- David Ortiz began his final regular-season weekend with a go-ahead two-run homer that damaged Toronto's postseason hopes while leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory Friday at Fenway Park that improved their chances at home field in the American League Division Series.

The loss slipped the Blue Jays into the second AL Wild Card spot one game behind the Orioles, who beat the Yankees. Toronto is just a half-game ahead of the Tigers, who defeated the Braves, and one game ahead of the Mariners, who beat the A's. The Red Sox maintained their half-game lead over the Indians for the No. 2 seed and own the tiebreaker because Boston won the season series. The Red Sox-Indians matchup in the Division Series is set now that Texas clinched the No. 1 seed in the AL.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Wild Card spot on line, Blue Jays turn to Happ

With Wild Card spot on line, Blue Jays turn to Happ

No shortage of motivation will exist for the Blue Jays and Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are jockeying for home-field advantage in the American League Division Series with the Indians, and the Blue Jays are looking to stay in the AL Wild Card race.

The Red Sox lead the Indians by a half-game for home field in their ALDS matchup, while the Blue Jays are one game behind the Orioles for the top AL Wild Card spot. Toronto holds a half-game lead over Detroit for the second spot.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Encarnacion soaks it all in during home finale

Slugger hopes to play another game at Rogers Centre, return to Blue Jays

Encarnacion soaks it all in during home finale

BOSTON -- When the Blue Jays walked off the field following their final regular-season home game of the year, Edwin Encarnacion took an extra couple of minutes to soak it all in.

Toronto had just completed a disappointing 4-0 loss to the Orioles on Thursday night, and Encarnacion could not help but wonder if this was the final regular-season home game he would play for the Blue Jays.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays blanked, fall into tie for top Wild Card

Blue Jays blanked, fall into tie for top Wild Card

TORONTO -- The American League Wild Card race is going down to the final weekend of the regular season. The Orioles made sure of that.

Baltimore moved into a tie for the first AL Wild Card spot with a 4-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. The Orioles entered this series needing to take two of three to keep their hopes of the top spot alive, and in the end, that's exactly what they did.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Familiar result strikes Stroman in last start of season

Familiar result strikes Stroman in last start of season

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman's first full regular season in the Major Leagues came to an end in Thursday night's 4-0 loss to the Orioles.

Although the season was a bag full of mixed results, Stroman is still integral to what the Blue Jays hope to achieve should they reach the postseason.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Travis returns from left shoulder injury

Travis returns from left shoulder injury

TORONTO -- Second baseman Devon Travis was back in the Blue Jays' lineup on Thursday after missing two games because of a left shoulder injury.

Travis returned just in time for the crucial series finale against the rival Orioles. Toronto entered play on Thursday with a one-game lead over Baltimore for the top American League Wild Card spot, with four games left to play.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scouting director Sanders part of front-office reshuffling

Scouting director Sanders part of front-office reshuffling

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a series of changes to their front office on Thursday afternoon, as the restructuring continued under the watch of president Mark Shapiro.

Toronto officially hired Steve Sanders as its amateur scouting director after news of that change broke earlier this week. Joe Sheehan was promoted to assistant general manager and Perry Minasian was appointed to the position of special assistant to the general manager.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays' progress reversed by O's late rally

Blue Jays' progress reversed by O's late rally

TORONTO -- The Orioles were in serious danger of seeing the Blue Jays secure a commanding lead in the American League Wild Card standings, but one swing of the bat by Hyun Soo Kim changed all of that.

Kim came through with a pinch-hit two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, turning what was on track to be a discouraging loss into a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Liriano an increasingly strong rotation candidate

Should Blue Jays reach postseason, veteran lefty would make fine No. 4 starter

Liriano an increasingly strong rotation candidate

TORONTO -- In spite of a tough 3-2 loss to the Orioles at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night, there was a silver lining for the Blue Jays.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano continued his recent trend of dominance, firing 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball while striking out 10, bolstering his case to be part of Toronto's postseason rotation.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fatigue an issue, but Blue Jays 'pen has little time to rest

Fatigue an issue, but Blue Jays 'pen has little time to rest

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' bullpen has become a pretty big strength during the second half of the season, but it could be headed for a breaking point with just four games remaining in the regular season.

Toronto's relievers have been left battered and bruised over the last week. Joaquin Benoit might miss the rest of the season with a torn left calf muscle. Roberto Osuna has blown each of his last two save opportunities, and Jason Grilli has seen his ERA rise from 3.02 to 4.01 in less than a month.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays proud to return to Montreal for exhibitions

Two-game set vs. Pirates will mark Toronto's fourth straight year visiting city

Blue Jays proud to return to Montreal for exhibitions

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays will continue their recent tradition of playing preseason baseball in Montreal when they take part in a pair of games against the Pirates in 2017.

Toronto announced on Wednesday that it will face Pittsburgh at Olympic Stadium on Friday, March 31, at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday, April 1, at 1:05 p.m. to wrap up exhibition play.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays tighten grip on top AL Wild Card spot

Blue Jays tighten grip on top AL Wild Card spot

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays scored an early advantage in the series that could very well decide which team ends up taking the first American League Wild Card spot.

Josh Donaldson and Ezequiel Carrera homered, while right-hander Aaron Sanchez tossed six strong innings en route to a 5-1 victory over the Orioles in the series opener at Rogers Centre that dropped Toronto's magic number for a postseason spot to three over Detroit. The Blue Jays' win left Baltimore two games back of Toronto for the top Wild Card with five games to play.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrera ignites Blue Jays in leadoff role

Carrera ignites Blue Jays in leadoff role

TORONTO -- With the Blue Jays taking on their nearest competitor for the top American League Wild Card spot, it was an unlikely source who played hero on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Ezequiel Carrera stepped into the leadoff spot for the injured Devon Travis and gave Toronto the spark it needed in its crucial 5-1 win against the Orioles.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Benoit could be out for season after dustup

Travis also suffers injury during benches-clearing incident with Yankees

Benoit could be out for season after dustup

TORONTO -- The benches-clearing fracas between the Blue Jays and Yankees during Monday night's game has led to a pair of potentially devastating injuries for Toronto.

Right-hander Joaquin Benoit sustained a torn left calf muscle during the melee, and he might miss the rest of the season. Second baseman Devon Travis aggravated his surgically repaired left shoulder and is currently listed as day to day.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays outline Dunedin renovations proposal

Blue Jays outline Dunedin renovations proposal

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have taken the first step in making sure that the city of Dunedin, Fla., will remain their Spring Training home for at least another 25 years.

Toronto president Mark Shapiro and a contingent of Blue Jays officials attended a city council meeting in Dunedin on Monday night to outline the club's proposed agreement.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MVP Hall among players named to T12 All-Star team

MVP Hall among players named to T12 All-Star team

After last week's fourth annual Tournament 12 presented by New Era, which ended with Ontario-Black coming out on top, the Blue Jays Baseball Academy named an All-Star team.

The most notable name on the roster is Adam Hall from Ontario-Black, who was also named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Hall batted .444 with six RBIs, seven runs scored and eight stolen bases. Tournament commissioner Roberto Alomar was extremely impressed with Hall's all-around performance.

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T.J. Burton is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays' WC lead cut to one in loss to Yanks

Blue Jays' WC lead cut to one in loss to Yanks

TORONTO -- In a game marred by two early benches-clearing incidents, the Yankees scored five runs in the ninth inning -- three coming on homers by Mark Teixeira and Aaron Hicks -- and defeated the Blue Jays, 7-5, on Monday night at Rogers Centre to win the finale of the four-game series.

The loss cut the Blue Jays' lead for the first American League Wild Card to one game over the idle Orioles, who begin a crucial three-game series Tuesday in Toronto. The Blue Jays are in a solid position with six games left, as they are three games up for a Wild Card spot.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks, Blue Jays clear benches twice

Three players hit by pitches; NY's Severino, Girardi, Rothschild and Thomson ejected

Yanks, Blue Jays clear benches twice

TORONTO -- A trio of hit-by-pitches led to the Blue Jays and Yankees clearing their benches twice early in Monday's 7-5 Yankees win at Rogers Centre.

The friction started when Josh Donaldson was hit by a 97-mph fastball from Yankees starter Luis Severino with one out in the first inning. While Toronto's third baseman took his base, the reigning American League MVP Award winner was clearly not happy.

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Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Letting catchers do the thinking, Cecil thriving

Blue Jays pitching coach says reliever in 'better place' with his stuff

Letting catchers do the thinking, Cecil thriving

TORONTO -- Brett Cecil stopped shaking and started dealing.

For much of the past three years, the Blue Jays' reliever has essentially called his own game. He often shook off the catcher's signs until he got the one he wanted.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays yet to name potential WC starter

Gibbons says he'd be comfortable using any pitcher

Blue Jays yet to name potential WC starter

TORONTO -- With so many moving parts in the American League East sweepstakes, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was in no position Monday to pinpoint his starting pitcher if his team wins an AL Wild Card berth.

But he certainly seemed to lean toward Aaron Sanchez. And given his druthers, he'd also like to have J.A. Happ ready in reserve.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays walk off to close in on Wild Card spot

Blue Jays walk off to close in on Wild Card spot

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Blue Jays rallied late to steal a crucial 4-3 victory against the Yankees on Sunday at Rogers Centre.

Toronto maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Baltimore for the top American League Wild Card spot, while the Yankees dropped 5 1/2 games behind the Orioles with seven games remaining.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Yankees on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrera's safety squeeze sets up walk-off win

Carrera's safety squeeze sets up walk-off win

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are known for hitting home runs, but they found a rather unconventional way to steal a victory away from the Yankees on Sunday afternoon: The safety squeeze.

Ezequiel Carrera brought home the tying run in the ninth inning with a bunt up the first-base line. That not only gave the Blue Jays renewed life but it also set the stage for Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off single later in the inning for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibbons: Bautista 'right guy, right time'

Gibbons: Bautista 'right guy, right time'

TORONTO -- In John Gibbons' mind, Jose Bautista was the right man, in the right place, at the right time.

Bautista has displayed a knack of coming through for Toronto during big moments, and he was up to his old tricks on Saturday. It was his three-run shot with two outs in the eighth inning that secured a 3-0 victory over the Yankees at Rogers Centre.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bautista's blast extends Blue Jays' WC edge

Bautista's blast extends Blue Jays' WC edge

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista has rediscovered his power stroke, and the Blue Jays will hope to ride it all the way into the postseason.

Bautista came through in a big moment yet again on Saturday with a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give Toronto a 3-0 victory over the Yankees. It was Bautista's second home run in his last three games, after he also hit a tying ninth-inning home run vs. Seattle on Wednesday.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto and covered the Yankees on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Liriano whips up vintage performance vs. Yanks

Lefty goes six shutout innings, has impressed Blue Jays since trade

Liriano whips up vintage performance vs. Yanks

TORONTO -- Devon Travis was only 15 years old when Francisco Liriano became an instant star at 22 as a rookie with Minnesota in 2006. They're teammates now, but Travis vividly remembers admiring Liriano as he posted a 12-3 record and 2.16 ERA that year.

In the Blue Jays' 9-0 win over the Yankees on Friday night at Rogers Centre, Liriano's six shutout innings with six strikeouts conjured old memories for Travis.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays break out, push Yanks back in WC race

Blue Jays break out, push Yanks back in WC race

TORONTO -- After Francisco Liriano's six shutout innings preserved a narrow lead, the Blue Jays' previously struggling offense erupted for four runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth en route to a 9-0 win over the Yankees on Friday night at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays, who had been averaging 3.6 runs per game in September coming into the night, retained their one-game lead for the top American League Wild Card spot over the Tigers, who defeated the Royals. The loss officially eliminated the Yankees from contention for the AL East title and dropped them four games behind the Tigers for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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John Lott is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Blue Jays on Friday.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Yankees on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.