BALTIMORE — Aaron Sanchez‘s no-hit bid, as well as his shutout, ended in a near-calamitous eighth inning. At that point, he was just hoping to get his first win since last July.
Seeking to throw the second no-hitter in Blue Jays history, Sanchez got through seven innings before Tim Beckham led off the eighth with a sharp grounder through the legs of third baseman Josh Donaldson that went for a double.
There was no time to lament what might have been, because the right-hander had a 1-0 lead to protect.
"After I gave up the hit, I was like, whatever," Sanchez said. "It would have been cool if I got to throw a no-hitter, but … I didn’t care about anything else but winning the ball game."
Anthony Santander followed with a single to right, and rookie Chance Sisco hit an RBI double to make it 1-all.
Sanchez avoided further damage by getting Jonathan Schoop to bounce into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Not long after that, Granderson hit a sidearmed fastball from Darren O’Day (0-1) over the right-field scoreboard. It was his first homer since signing as a free agent with Toronto this past off-season.
And so, after a 2017 season that included four trips to the disabled list, Sanchez (1-1) put a notch in the win column.
"He was dynamite tonight," manager John Gibbons said. "That unbelievable changeup has really opened up a lot of things for him. It was probably one of the most effortless outings I’ve ever seen him have."
Roberto Osuna got three straight outs for his fifth save. He became the youngest player in major league history (23 years, 62 days) with 100 career saves.
"To do something like this is very special," Osuna said. "I am real proud of myself."
Orioles starter Andrew Cashner pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks. He struck out six.
On almost any other night, that would have been good enough to get the win. But Cashner — making his third start with Baltimore after signing as a free agent in February — had to settle for matching zeroes with Sanchez.
"I knew he was going to be good coming out; he’s got one of the best sinkers in baseball," Cashner said. "You just try to match what he’s doing and give us a chance to win."
The Blue Jays broke up the scoreless duel in the eighth with an unearned run on a throwing error by Santander on a single to right by Yangervis Solarte.
Toronto’s defence helped sustain the no-hitter in the early innings. Right fielder Steve Pearce and centre fielder Kevin Pillar made leaping catches on deep fly balls, and second baseman Devon Travis raced into the outfield to snag a fifth-inning blooper by Beckham.
Sanchez was in the running to join Dave Stieb as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters for Toronto. Stieb beat Cleveland on Sept. 2, 1990.
Blue Jays: 1B Kendrys Morales was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, an injury he sustained running out a single Monday night. Gibbons expects Morales to spend the minimum amount of time on the DL.
Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo (right quad strain) began his rehabilitative assignment as the starting DH for Double-A Bowie. The timetable for his arrival in Baltimore is: "When he feels like he’s ready, we’ll bring him," manager Buck Showalter said. … RHP Alex Cobb remains on course to make his Orioles debut Saturday in Boston. Showalter said the team will "be cautious" about Cobb’s pitch count. … OF Colby Rasmus had an MRI on his left hip as a precaution after his spikes caught and he felt discomfort.
The Orioles designated Rule 5 reliever Nestor Cortes for assignment. Selected from the Yankees, the left-hander allowed two grand slams and compiled a 7.71 ERA. He can be claimed by one of 28 other teams and placed on the 25-man roster, or the Yankees can take him back and put him in the minors. Baltimore recalled RHP Yefrey Ramirez, who has yet to pitch in the big leagues.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (1-0, 2.77 ERA) pitches in the series finale Wednesday night.
Orioles: Struggling RHP Kevin Gausman (0-1, 8.00) seeks to get on track after two sub-par starts.