2016 American League Wild Card Game

The 2016 American League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2016 postseason played between the American League's (AL) two wild card teams, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles. As both teams finished with identical 89–73 records, a tiebreaker was used to determine the host team. In accordance with MLB tiebreaking rules, the Blue Jays earned the right to host the game by winning their season series against the Orioles 10–9.

2016 American League Wild Card Game
Baltimore Orioles00020000000240
Toronto Blue Jays01001000003590
DateOctober 4, 2016
VenueRogers Centre
CityToronto, Ontario
UmpiresTed Barrett, Gary Cederstrom (crew chief), Eric Cooper, Will Little, David Rackley and Bill Welke
Replay: Scott Barry and Mark Carlson.[1]
Ceremonial first pitchRoberto Alomar[2]
TelevisionCanada: Sportsnet
United States: TBS
TV announcersErnie Johnson Jr., Ron Darling, Cal Ripken Jr., and Sam Ryan
RadioCanada: Sportsnet
United States: ESPN
Radio announcersJon Sciambi and Chris Singleton

The Blue Jays beat the Orioles, 5–2, in extra innings. This is the Orioles' last postseason appearance to date.


This was Toronto's first appearance in the Wild Card Game and their first overall appearance as a wild card (when it was first introduced in 1995), and their second consecutive postseason appearance after winning the AL East Division the previous season. It was the second appearance in a Wild Card Game both for Baltimore and its manager Buck Showalter. Showalter's Orioles defeated the Texas Rangers in the inaugural AL Wild Card Game in 2012. This was the first postseason meeting between the two teams.

The game was played at 8:00 pm EDT on October 4, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, with the winner advancing to play the first-seeded Texas Rangers in the Division Series.[3][4] It was televised in the United States on TBS, while Sportsnet, a property of Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, simulcast the TBS production in Canada.

The retractable dome at Rogers Centre was open for the game, the first time this was done for a postseason contest at the venue.[5]

This was the second Wild Card Game played between teams with identical regular season records, and the second time for the Baltimore Orioles. Under the 1995-2011 playoff format, the teams would have played a one-game playoff to determine the Wild Card team.

Game results

Line score

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 8:08 pm (EDT) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario 63 °F (17 °C), clear
WP: Francisco Liriano (1–0)   LP: Ubaldo Jiménez (0–1)
Home runs:
BAL: Mark Trumbo (1)
TOR: José Bautista (1), Edwin Encarnación (1)
Attendance: 49,934

Toronto and Baltimore turned to their Opening Day starters, as Marcus Stroman and Chris Tillman took the mound for their respective teams.

The Blue Jays scored first with a home run by José Bautista leading off the second inning.[6] The Orioles responded two innings later with a go-ahead two-run homer from Mark Trumbo.[7] The Blue Jays recorded three hits in the fifth on their way to scoring the tying run.[8]

The Toronto Blue Jays won the game 5–2 in the 11th inning when Edwin Encarnación hit a walk-off three-run homer off Ubaldo Jiménez.[9] Zach Britton, the Orioles' closer and 2016 American League Reliever of the Year, controversially did not appear in the game.[10] The Blue Jays advanced to the American League Division Series to face the Rangers for the second consecutive time in the postseason; their first meeting was in the previous year's American League Division Series.

Encarnación became only the fourth player to end a winner-take-all postseason game (that is, a game in which one team or the other was sure to be eliminated) with a walk-off home run, joining Bill Mazeroski (1960 World Series), Chris Chambliss (1976 ALCS) and Aaron Boone (2003 ALCS).[11]


  1. "2016 World Game and Division Series Umpires". Close Call Sports & Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. October 4, 2016.
  2. "Robbie". Hartford Courant. October 5, 2016. pp. C4.
  3. Newman, Mark (August 24, 2016). "To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  4. Normandin, Marc (August 23, 2016). "2016 MLB playoff schedule released". SBNation.com. SB Nation. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  5. Johnston, Mike (October 4, 2016). "Rogers Centre dome will be open for Blue Jays-Orioles wild card game". Sportsnet.ca. Rogers Media.
  6. Griffin, Richard (October 5, 2016). "Encarnacion hits 11th-inning walkoff, Jays advance to face Rangers: Griffin". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  7. Nightengale, Bob (October 5, 2016). "Blue Jays beat Orioles in AL wild card on thrilling 11th-inning walk-off". USA Today. Toronto: Gannett Company. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  8. Fidlin, Kevin (October 5, 2016). "Edwin Encarnacion belts Blue Jays past Orioles in extra innings". Toronto Sun. Toronto: Postmedia Network. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  9. Harrison, Ian (October 5, 2016). "Encarnacion's 11th-inning HR lifts Jays over O's, into ALDS". Associated Press. Toronto: AP News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  10. Crasnick, Jerry (October 5, 2016). "Where was Zach Britton in the 11th inning?". ESPN.com. Toronto: ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  11. Schoenfield, David (October 5, 2016). "What we learned: Buck Showalter's epic failure costs Orioles". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
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