Blue Jays avoid scare; closer expects to be ready for ALDS
By Alykhan Ravjiani
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are heading to Texas to take on the Rangers in a rematch of last year's American League Division Series after defeating the Orioles, 5-2, in 11 innings on Tuesday night in the AL Wild Card Game, and it looks like Toronto will have closer Roberto Osuna available after an injury scare.
Osuna left the game after retiring Chris Davis in the top of the 10th -- his second inning of work -- and after the game, he described the injury as "a big stretch" in his right shoulder. The 21-year-old said the stretch initially occurred on a fastball thrown to Davis.
"When I threw the fastball up and away, it went like this, like a pretty big stretch and it started bothering me," Osuna said. "So I threw one more pitch and it got bigger, and I was like, 'I can't do it anymore.'"
Osuna said he did not feel pain in the shoulder, and he was told by the team medical staff that he needed "a couple days to rest due to fatigue." Although his status has not been determined for Game 1 of the ALDS (Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET, on TBS/Sportsnet), he is expected to be on the roster.
The Mexico native has seen an increased workload down the stretch, having pitched in a career-high 74 innings this season and 16 innings since the start of September.
"It wasn't a big deal," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It just tightened up on him. The smart thing to do was to get him out of there."
Osuna retired all three batters he faced in the top of the ninth and then came back out for the 10th with the score tied at 2. After Davis was retired, Gibbons and trainer George Poulis ran onto the field to check on Osuna.
Following a brief meeting on the mound, Gibbons removed Osuna from the game and brought left-hander Francisco Liriano out of the bullpen.
Osuna watched the remainder of the game in the trainer's room, before joining his teammates to celebrate after Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off home run.
"It was unbelievable," Osuna said of the home run. "I was nervous. You feel nervous when you're not playing, so I was in the trainer's room watching the game. And as soon as he hit the ball, I was like, 'That's a homer right there,' and I came out to celebrate with the guys."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.