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John Schneider was actually being biased when he pregame suggested the Blue Jays and Phillies have another “old-fashioned pitching duel” tonight.

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That’s what the Jays manager joked about the night before about the ridiculous offense for two clubs known for being ridiculously talented in that particular area.

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The Jays and Phillies combined for 36 hits and 29 runs in the series opener, which drew laughter at the suggestion of a pitchers’ duel.

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But after a few hours, Schneider was right on the money, at least as far as the starters were concerned, as Kevin Gausman and the duo of Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard combined to give the Jays’ manager the perfect pitching duel he wanted. had joked. in the distance.

Neither one was in for a decision, however, as the two bullpens took turns giving up a three-run inning in the eighth before the Phillies tied it up in the 10th, before Adam Wierling struck out four. Ended the hour and eight minute marathon with a fifth single up. Middle with the bases loaded to score Yairo Munoz with the winning run in a 4-3 Phillies win.

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The Jays now head to Tampa with a two-game lead over the Rays, who were on the losing end of their game with Houston on Wednesday.

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The Jays loaded the bases in the top of the 10th only to see Teoscar Hernandez ground into an inning-ending double play as pinch hitter Bradley Zimmer was doubled to second on a ground ball.

Gausman carried a heavy load through six innings. He scattered five hits while striking out eight, including the first six outs of the night.

Gausman was at his best in those first two innings, but he was at his most clutch in the fifth inning when he loaded the bases with two outs and walked Bryce Harper on his return to the mound for the Phillies. Eliminated the biggest threat.

Wheeler, who was on the injured list and not quite ready to carry a full load, pitched four innings that were perhaps more than manager Robbie Thompson expected, holding the Jays to just two hits over those four. .

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Syndergaard, a one-time Blue Jay draft pick who was dealt to the Mets in the RA Dickey deal, found himself in an unfamiliar relief role with the Phillies. He had made just one previous appearance in relief in his career but looked right at home in that one, giving the Phillies two more shutout innings and leading the game into the sixth still looking for his first run. .

Turns out that didn’t come until the eighth when the Phillies opened the door with a bad error and the Jays jumped on it.

With Whit Merrifield and George Springer hitting no outs in the first, Ceranthony Dominguez got a room service ground ball to short off the bat of Springer to put things behind him.

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The first springer fell coming out of the box, which may have contributed to an error by Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott.

Instead of getting the first out, Stott wound up pushing a throw to the other and throwing it over the head of Jane Segura, allowing Merrifield to advance to third and keeping Springer safe at first. .

Two pitches later Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made the Phillies pay in a big way, taking the second sinker he saw into the left-field seats for a nice three-run homer from Dominguez.

It pushed Guerrero to the 30-homer plateau for the second year in a row and gave the Jays their first lead of the game.

Tim Maiza was initially in line to pick up the win with a tough seventh inning.

In relief of Gausman, Maiza found himself in a bit of a jam, striking out leadoff hitter Nick Matton on four straight balls and then trying to get his left arm to first and second off the bat of Matt Wierling. Failed. without anyone outside.

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Facing the top of the Phillies lineup, Mayza bent down to get Kyle Schwarber to first, moving Vierling to second and leaving runners on the corners with one down.

Maiza then struck out two of the deadliest hitters, Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper, to tie the game.

Yemi Garcia, the usually reliable lefty, made things very interesting in the bottom of the eighth with a little help from some haphazard defense behind him and cost Maiza the win.

Garcia opened the inning with a solo homer to Phillies catcher JT Realmotto.

A throwing error by shortstop Bo Bechette on a Segura single allowed a Phillies base runner to advance to second and opened the door for a three-run game-tying inning for the Phillies.

Back-to-back singles by Matten, Verling – who had the first four-hit night of his young career – and Schwarber tied the game.

All but the Schwarber hit came off Garcia in which Jordan Romano gave up the final single and suffered his sixth blowout of the season.

Skin rash: Second baseman Santiago Espinal was taken out of the game in the seventh inning with a strained left side. It was unclear how Spinel injured himself. He was replaced by Kevan Biggio at number two.

mganter@postmedia.com

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