TORONTO (AP) — Teoscar Hernández singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Saturday.
“I just had that confidence that my teammates were going to put up some good at-bats, we were going to tie the game and win the ballgame,” Hernández said.
Royals designated hitter Vinnie Pasquantino hit a tie-breaking home run in the top of the 10th to put Kansas City up 5-3, but Toronto rallied in the bottom half against former Blue Jays reliever Joel Payamps (2-3).
After stepping out of the box and banging his bat in frustration over a strike two call that looked inside, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, scoring automatic runner George Springer.
“In that moment it may have been a good thing for him,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said of Guerrero’s obvious frustration.
Hernández said Guerrero’s double “kind of fired up the whole team.” Pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia followed it with a game-tying base hit to center.
Bo Bichette singled and Hernández grounded a base hit through the left side to score Tapia, who slid home with the winning run as the crowd of 40,135 erupted.
The Blue Jays are 21-14 in one-run games, the most one-run victories in the majors.
Toronto’s Jordan Romano (3-2) got the win despite allowing Pasquantino’s homer.
Guerrero had three hits and reached base four times.
Payamps, who pitched in 22 games for Toronto in 2021, didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced.
“I thought he just didn’t have his good stuff today,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said.
Hernández said his familiarity with Payamps proved helpful.
“I knew he was going to try to come in on me to try to get the double play,”…