The Toronto Blue Jays roughed up Arizona right-hander Randall Delgado right away, building a three-run lead.
Then the Blue Jays went quiet. Real quiet.
Watch highlights of the game courtesy of Sportsnet
Struggling after its early burst, Toronto became the first team in 43 years to leave no runners on base in an extra-inning game, losing 4-3 to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday after Willie Bloomquist hit a run-scoring single in the 10th inning.
“It was just one of those games,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
The Diamondbacks have gone through an up-and-down season, leaving their playoff hopes clinging by a thread.
When it comes to pulling off the walk-off, they’ve been one of baseball’s best.
Against the Blue Jays, Arizona rallied from a three-run deficit after Delgado’s shaky first inning. Diamondbacks pitchers faced the minimum from then until the 10th inning, when Will Harris (3-0) worked around a baserunner to keep the game tied in Arizona’s franchise record-tying 21st extra-inning game.
Eric Chavez got the final rally started by blooping a single off Luis Perez (0-1) and pinch-runner Adam Eaton moved to third on A.J. Pollock’s single off Jeremy Jeffress.
Late on a previous pitch by Jeffress, Bloomquist lined a 1-2, 100-mph fastball off the right-hander through the right side of Toronto’s drawn-in infield, sending his teammates rushing onto the field to douse the hero with water and dirt.
It was Arizona’s 13th walk-off hit of the season and the fourth career for Bloomquist, a veteran who didn’t seem to particularly enjoy his teammates’ pigpen antics.
“I don’t think Bloomquist liked it, but he’s usually miserable, anyway,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “We’re like, ‘C’mon, Willie, get dirty.’ It’s a meek sacrifice to get the game-winner in my mind. It’s a minimal sacrifice.”
Rajai Davis homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot, and Edwin Encarnacion added a run-scoring double in the first inning off Delgado.
After that, the Blue Jays went quietly.
Delgado retired 13 straight batters after the first inning and Toronto became the first team to leave no runners on base in an extra-inning game since Cincinnati on July 20, 1970 at St. Louis, according to STATS Inc.
“Delgado really settled in after we put up three on him,” Gibbons said. “He started locating his pitches, limited his mistakes.”
Delgado allowed three runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle had a similar outing.
Matt Davidson ended Buehrle’s scoreless streak at 14 innings with an RBI double in the second inning and Miguel Montero followed with another double to cut Toronto’s lead to 3-2.
The left-hander shook off the shaky inning, working around a pair of baserunners in the third inning before retiring 10 of the next 11 batters.
Buehrle was lifted after a walk and a single in the seventh inning, and Chavez followed with a sacrifice fly off Sergio Santos that tied the game at 3-all.
Buehrle allowed three runs — two earned — on five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
“It was a good outing,” Gibbons said. “He probably regrets walking Davidson to lead off that inning. He was looking for a strikeout and they got the hit, then Chavez came through. It was just one of those games.”