BALTIMORE -- Mark Trumbo, last year's Major League leader in home runs, picked up right where he left off last season.
The O's slugger blasted Blue Jays pitcher Jason Grilli's pitch into the left-field seats for a walk-off homer that gave Baltimore a 3-2, 11-inning Opening Day win on Monday.
"It did seem to have a similar feel [to last year's American League Wild Card Game]," said Trumbo, who re-signed with Baltimore this offseason as a free agent. "I'm glad this one turned out in our favor."
The postseason-esque atmosphere was evident early on, and the sellout crowd at Camden Yards was treated to a defensive show by both clubs.
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista made a diving catch in the bottom of the ninth, doubling up Welington Castillo at first base to force extra innings. The grab had only a 21-percent Catch Probability, according to Statcast™, making it a 5-star catch (the toughest score). O's third baseman Manny Machado made a diving grab and threw out Devon Travis from his knees in the 11th.
Tied at 2, Travis and Josh Donaldson put Toronto in a good spot with a pair of one-out singles in the top of the ninth. But O's closer Zach Britton -- famously absent from his club's Wild Card loss last season -- got Bautista on an inning-ending double play ball. Britton went on to throw a scoreless 10th, as well.
"I wasn't thinking about it," Britton said of not being used in Baltimore's final game of 2016. "I've turned the page on that a long time ago. I was just hoping to keep the score where it was and give our offense a chance to score a run. I did it for two innings, then [Tyler] Wilson came in and did a great job, and then Trumbo there, that's huge. Opening Day, 11-inning game, to come out on top is good going forward."
Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, tabbed for the Opening Day start due to Chris Tillman's right shoulder injury, took a no-decision over 5 1/3 innings. Gausman cruised early before loading the bases with one out in the fifth, on a single and pair of walks. After he got Bautista to pop up, Kendrys Morales worked a walk to put Toronto on the board.
Gausman exited after a one-out single in the sixth, and then Ezequiel Carrera doubled in a run off reliever Mychal Givens.
Blue Jays Opening Day starter Marco Estrada allowed a pair of early runs, both in the third inning, but he kept Baltimore in check after that. The O's, after getting RBIs from Chris Davis and Trumbo, didn't record another hit off of Estrada after Trumbo's two-out double.
"It was different. First game of the year, and you're trying to take it all in," Estrada said after the first Opening Day start of his career. "It took me a while to get things going, to be honest with you. The third inning was kind of tough … but I wasn't making bad pitches. I felt like I had Davis out front, but that guy, any time he hits the ball, it's going to go a long way."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trum-BOMB: The blast was Trumbo's sixth career walk-off homer and had an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to Statcast™, traveling an estimated 386 feet. The winning homer came on Grilli's 1-2 slider.
"It was obviously not a good one," Grilli said of the 81 mph slider. "Make a mistake and pay for it. This is the big leagues, and there's no more practice rounds. This is for real. He did what he's supposed to do with it. I tip my cap. I made a bad pitch, he hit it out." More >
Gettin' Zekey With It: Toronto was trailing, 2-1, in the top of the sixth inning when Carrera came through with the two-out double down the first-base line. Steve Pearce scored all the way from first base as Carrera drove home Toronto's second run of the season. Last year, Carrera's first RBI did not come until April 24, but he has an expanded role this season as part of a platoon in left. Gausman was in line for the victory until Carrera took that away.
"Doesn't seem weird at all. It seemed appropriate. How's that?" -- O's manager Buck Showalter, when asked what it was like winning on an 11th-inning walk-off after the O's season ended the same way
"That's just another Monday for Manny. He makes those plays all of the time, and it definitely hurts when he does it against you." -- Pearce, on Machado's diving grab in the 11th
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar picked up a five-pitch walk during his second plate appearance of the season. Last year, it took Pillar 60 plate appearances before he drew a walk, but improved plate discipline was one of his main areas of focus during Spring Training.
Blue Jays: Left-hander J.A. Happ will take the mound for Toronto when this series continues Wednesday night at Camden Yards. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET as Happ will look to build upon last year's success, which saw him post a career-high 20 wins to become a borderline AL Cy Young Award candidate. Happ also is coming off an impressive spring with a 1.76 ERA over four starts.
Orioles:Dylan Bundy will take the mound after a fantastic rookie year. Last season, Bundy started in the bullpen and gave the O's a boost in the rotation. This year, the righty will be counted on to help stabilize the starting staff. Bundy went 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 2016.
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