Kim's pinch-hit HR in 9th lifts Orioles past Jays

Associated Press

Toronto — Hyun Soo Kim said he’d never hit a bigger home run.

His timely drive gave Baltimore’s wild-card hopes a big boost.

Kim hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Roberto Osuna, and the Orioles beat Toronto 3-2 on Wednesday night to move within one game of the AL wild card-leading Blue Jays.

“It’s hard to describe,” Kim said through a translator. “It’s just such a great feeling.”

With Toronto ahead 2-1, Jonathan Schoop singled with one out, pinch-runner Michael Bourn stole second and Kim homered on a 3-2 pitch into the visiting bullpen in right, causing the Orioles relievers to jump in celebration.

“Everyone in the dugout was going nuts,” slugger Mark Trumbo said.

Kim is 6 for 9 with two walks as a pinch hitter.

“We’re lucky to have a guy hitting .300 come off the bench,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We felt like he’d give us a good at bat.”

Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman said the dramatic victory could provide the Orioles with some much-needed momentum

“I think that could push a team a long way, those kind of wins,” Tillman said. “It was a big team win and everybody played a part in it.”

Osuna (3-3) has five blown save chances, including two in his last three appearances.

“I feel good, I’m not worried at all,” he said. “My fastball just stayed down the middle, and he took advantage of it.”

Trumbo hit his major league-leading 46th home run, a solo drive off Jason Grilli in the eighth. Sacrifice flies by Edwin Encarnacion in the first and Kevin Pillar in the second had built a 2-0 lead.

“I thought Trum’s home run kind of got some positive vibes back in the game,” Showalter said.

Brian Duensing (1-0) got one out, and Zach Britton finished for his 47th save in as many tries.

“Zach came in there and didn’t let the momentum get away from us,” Showalter said.

Blue Jays left-hander Francisco Liriano struck out 10 over six shutout innings. Toronto starters have allowed one earned run or none in a team record seven straight games.

Liriano was perfect until Adam Jones singled to begin the fourth. Davis followed with a single by Liriano struck out the next three batters. Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but Davis took a called third strike.

Liriano left to a standing ovation after Jonathan Schoop’s single put runners at first and second in the seventh. Brett Cecil came on and struck out Nolan Reimold before Troy Tulowitzki went deep into the hole to shortstop hole to retire Jones on a groundout.

Tillman allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He has a 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA in 13 career starts in Toronto.

“My fastball command wasn’t there again,” Tillman said, “but we were able to make some big pitches with the offspeed stuff and limit the damage.”