The Baltimore Orioles kicked off Opening Day 2017 and the 25th Anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards against American League East Division rivals the Toronto Blue Jays, in hopes of avenging last season’s 11th inning Wild Card walk-off loss from the bat of Edwin Encarnacion. In this game that required two extra innings to complete, O’s designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who was resigned to a three-year contract back in January, stepped up to help Baltimore win their seventh straight Opening Day game 3-2 in 11 innings over Toronto. Trumbo has now driven in four of the last five runs against the Blue Jays dating back to last year’s playoffs and the O’s won 14 of their last 17 Opening Day games.
Making his first career Opening Day start O’s starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, starting in place of ace Chris Tillman who is starting the 2017 season on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder bursitis, pitched five and one-third of an inning but only earned a no decision after a couple of 20 and one 30 plus pitch innings in which he gave up five hits, two runs, four walks and four strikeouts. Tillman’s streak of consecutive Opening Day starts ends at three and Gausman still has not beaten Toronto since back on September 30, 2015. First run of the 2017 season for the O’s was driven in by first baseman Chris Davis on a single in the third, Davis would however be tagged out at second trying to stretch it into a double. Last year’s Major League home run champ and designated hitter Mark Trumbo would follow that up with an RBI double. Trumbo would later take the first step in earning his new contract by connecting on a walk-off homer in the 11th. Newly acquired outfielder Seth Smith and catcher Wellington Castillo both got their first hits as Orioles.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada, like Gausman was making his first career Opening Day start and also earned a no decision. Estrada pitched six innings giving up five hits, two runs, two walks and four strikeouts. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, taking the place of Edwin Encarnacion who departed to Cleveland, drove in the first run of the season for Toronto on bases-loaded walk in the third, but went 0-for-4 on the day. Left-fielder Ezequiel Carrera tied the game 2-2 in the sixth inning with an RBI double and went 2-for-3. Former Oriole Steve Pearce, now playing first base for the Blue Jays, went 3-for-5 against his old team.
O’s reliever Tyler Wilson earned the win pitching the 11th inning and reliever Jason Grilli would earn the loss for the Blue Jays after giving up the game-winning homer to Trumbo. Trumbo did also receive his Silver Slugger Award before the game today for leading the league in homers last season. Baltimore and Toronto will have tomorrow off and then continue the second of this two-game series on Wednesday night. Game time will be 7:05 PM/ET and starting pitchers will be: J.A. Happ (TOR) vs. Dylan Bundy (BAL).
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College).