08/08/09 7:40 PM ET
Walk-off win a relief for Blue Jays
Lind delivers game-winning hit off Baez in 10th inning
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Considering the way things have been going for the Blue Jays, it was hard to blame him.
"Everybody started jumping up," Gaston said. "I'm thinking, 'This kid is going to catch this ball.'"
Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold did not catch the ball, though. It bounced off the left-field wall for a double, sending the Blue Jays to a dramatic 3-2, extra-inning win in walk-off fashion. Toronto's players burst from the dugout and spilled onto the field, swarming Lind for a wild celebration unlike any the Jays had experienced in months.
Such a victory was long overdue for Toronto, which had lost its past 10 games that were decided in the last at-bat. Lind's heroics gave the Blue Jays their first walk-off win since May 2 -- also against the Orioles -- and snapped a three-game losing streak. It was a satisfying conclusion for a team that lost another pitcher to injury.
"It's been a long time for us to finally get one of those walk-off wins," Blue Jays reliever Brian Tallet said. "It was a big win. We needed that to help morale more than anything."
Tallet played an integral role in the win, logging five strong innings of relief after rookie Brett Cecil exited with irritation in his left knee during the fifth inning. After Cecil -- considered day-to-day -- was forced from the contest, Baltimore and Toronto remained locked in a 2-2 affair, trading zeros from the fifth through the ninth.
In the sixth inning, Tallet slipped into a bases-loaded jam with one out before creating two flyouts to escape unscathed. In the seventh, the left-hander allowed Baltimore to put runners on first and second with one out. This time, he induced a pair of groundouts to wiggle free of the dicey situation. It was an admirable performance in unexpected circumstances.
"He did a great job for us," Gaston said. "He's pitched great all year, really. He's come into some tough situations. And just when he started, he pitched better than his record shows. He's willing to do anything he can to help the team win."
Tallet's five innings of work, combined with two quick outs by reliever Jason Frasor in the top of the 10th inning, bought time for the Blue Jays' offense to mount a rally. In 6 2/3 innings against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman, Toronto managed only a two-run home run in the second inning from Alex Rios, who has at least one RBI in each of his past five games.
Rios' blast pushed the Blue Jays (52-57) to an early 2-0 lead, but the Orioles (46-64) did not need much time to answer. In the fourth inning, Aubrey Huff and Reimold delivered consecutive run-scoring doubles off Cecil to pull the game into a 2-2 tie. That held until the 10th, when Lind strolled to the plate to face reliever Danys Baez with runners on first and second.
Up to that point, Lind had gone 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, so he only had one thing on his mind.
"Really, just put the ball in play," Lind said. "It was kind of a rough day for me up there. I got a fastball over the plate and hit it on the sweet spot."
Baez sent a 94-mph fastball to Lind, who lofted it high into the air above left field. Reimold drifted back toward the warning track, and the ball ricocheted off the wall and rolled back into the outfield, providing plenty of time for Marco Scutaro to score from second base.
Lind, who is second in the Major Leagues with 36 doubles, was quickly mobbed by his teammates.
"It feels pretty cool to have everybody run out there," Lind said, "and jump on you and hit you in the head and give you a headache."
The soft-spoken Lind then laughed.
"The helmet didn't do too much there," he added.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.