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Merrifield’s clutch RBI single keys Blue Jays’ 7-5 win over Rockies

DENVER (AP) — Whit Merrifield hit a two-out, go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays went on to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday to take two of three in the weekend series.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered and singled to drive in a pair of runs and Spencer Horwitz, a late fill-in for ailing Brandon Belt, added three hits, including his first career home run to help Toronto remain 1 1/2 games behind Texas for the third American League wild-card playoff berth.

Rookie Hunter Goodman doubled twice and drove in three runs for Colorado in a game that was interrupted by a 59-minute rain delay.

Santiago Espinal opened the ninth with a single off Justin Lawrence (4-7) and was replaced by pinch runner Mason McCoy. Horwitz drew a two-out walk and Merrifield followed with a line single to right. Ernie Clement followed with another run-scoring single.

Chad Green (1-0) worked a scoreless inning for the win and Jordan Romano got three outs for his 32nd save.

Both teams came out swinging from the rain delay. Davis Schneider hit a go-ahead RBI double off Tommy Doyle, who relieved starter Chase Anderson, in Toronto’s three-run fifth. But the Rockies fought back in the bottom of the inning to re-tie the game on Goodman’s two-run double off Trevor Richards, who had relieved starter Kevin Gausman.

Goodman snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning off Gausman, giving the Rockies a 3-2 leading going into the weather delay. Gausman went four innings and allowed three runs. He struck out five and walked three.

Chase Anderson, reinstated from the 15-day injured list before the game after recovering from right shoulder inflammation that sidelined him nearly five weeks, went four innings and allowed two runs on four hits, including solo homers by Guerrero in the top of the third and Horwitz leading off the top of the fourth. It was the first career home run for Horwitz, recalled from triple-A Buffalo on Saturday for his second stint with the team this season.


Blue Jays: 1B Brandon Belt was a late scratch because of lower back tightness. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Horwitz.

Rockies: Anderson filled the roster of RHP Daniel Bard, who was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Saturday with right arm forearm fatigue.


Blue Jays: Open a three-game series Monday at Oakland with RHP José Berrios (9-10, 3.70 ERA) slated to pitch the opener against the Athletics’ Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.92 ERA).

Rockies: Head to Arizona where they play the first of three on Monday. RHP Peter Lambert (3-5, 4.95 ERA) is scheduled to start the first game for Colorado. He’ll be opposed by RHP Merrill Kelly (10-6, 3.31 ERA).


Dennis Georgatos, The Associated Press