BALTIMORE -- Extra-inning success has helped lead the Baltimore Orioles to the postseason three times in the previous five seasons. They’re hoping that’s the case again in 2017.
In their three postseason seasons, 2012, 2014 and 2016, they had a combined record of 36-10 in extra innings. After their 5-4 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in 12 innings before 27,231 at Oriole Park Sept. 3, they’re 12-2 in extras this season.
"I think especially at home, you have to like our chances, top-to-bottom, anyway," designated hitter Mark Trumbo said. "If you give us enough chances, I think we can come through. I think it’s a credit to our pitching because we have to get those opportunities, and they’ve held the game and given us that opportunity every time."
The Orioles, who went hitless in their first 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position, finally got a key hit from Trumbo whose 12th inning drive scored second baseman Jonathan Schoop for the winning run.
It was the second time in the last three games the Orioles scored an extra-inning win over the Blue Jays. It took 13 innings for a 1-0 win Sept. 1.
The Orioles outhit Toronto 49-33 in the four-game series, but managed only a split.
Manager Buck Showalter said he had faith the Orioles would come through even if they left 10 on base in the first 11 innings.
"I think we're always due. That's one of the things about having continuity with players and people," Showalter said. "Let’s be frank. There’s going to come a day before too long where there isn't another game. So we want the opportunity to play some more games, and games like this make you feel like you earned it."
The win put the Orioles 1 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins, who hold the second American League wild-card spot. The Orioles host the AL wild-card leading New York Yankees for three games Sept. 4-6.
Catcher Welington Castillo hit two home runs, and has 18 in just 80 games. His second home run leading off the ninth against Toronto closer Roberto Osuna, tied the score at four.
Trumbo hit his 21st in the fourth inning.
Chris Tillman, who hasn’t won since his first start of the season on May 7, was pulled two batters into the fifth. He allowed a three-run homer to Josh Donaldson in the third inning.
With an expanded roster, Showalter has 10 pitchers in the bullpen, and he used six of them. They combined to allow one run on three hits in eight innings.
Rookie Jimmy Yacabonis, who pitched a scoreless 13th for the win on Sept. 1, threw two hitless innings, and got the win.
Since Yacabonis’ shaky major league debut June 11, he’s allowed a run on four hits in 8 2/3 innings.
Tillman was frustrated by the quick hook, but knows when the Orioles have a full bullpen, that’s at least a possibility.
"Does it bother me? Yeah," Tillman said. "But when we win that’s more important. I think it kind of doesn’t really matter what I do as long as the team wins. That’s the way I think everyone in here feels. Right now is the time of year we’ve got to win, especially in September."
While some of the starters have struggled, the bullpen’s work has been appreciated.
"They’ve done an exceptional job. That’s a good hitting team, and that’s a team that’s scored a pretty good amount of runs in the recent games," Trumbo said of the bullpen’s work against Toronto.
"They’ve come in. They’ve gotten ahead. They’ve put guys away, let the defense work when they needed to. As far as in September, that’s a much needed shot in the arm that can really help us."
NOTES: 3B Manny Machado was named the American League Player of the Month for August. Machado hit 12 home runs, drove in 35 runs and hit .341 in winning the monthly award for the second time. … RHP Gabriel Ynoa was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and RHP Alec Asher was optioned to Double-A Bowie. … Showalter hopes SS J.J. Hardy will be active this week. He had a cortisone shot on his elbow Sept. 1, and if he’s not ready to play by Sept. 8, the Orioles will probably add another infielder. … OF Craig Gentry (thumb) said he hopes he can pinch run after his 10-day disabled list stint ends Sept. 12. … RHP Dylan Bundy (13-8, 3.94) faces Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.15) on Sept. 4 at 2:05 p.m.