Jose Bautista's smack talk puts stamp on Blue Jays' 10th straight win

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista gestures towards Orioles pitcher Darren O'Day after he hitting a...

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista gestures towards Orioles pitcher Darren O'Day after he hitting a home run at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, June 22, 2013. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:53 PM ET

TORONTO - Darren O’Day now knows better than to poke a sleeping bear with a stick.

In Friday night’s series opener against the Baltimore Orioles, O’Day came on to face Jose Bautista with two out in the seventh and struck him out to end the inning.

As he was leaving the mound, O’Day started to chirp at Bautista.

Bautista wasn’t sure what O’Day said, but he was certain it wasn’t along the lines of: ‘Hey Jose, I hope you get to go to the all-star game. I hope you get red hot in the second half.’

Fast forward to the bottom of the eighth on Saturday.

With the game tied 2-2 and Rajai Davis on first, Bautista steps to the plate against who else but O’Day.

The count runs to 3-2 and then, kaboom, Bautista rips a line drive over the fence in left just inside the foul pole, about the same spot where Joe Carter landed one back in 1993 to win the World Series.

The blast for Bautista wasn’t as heroic as it was for Carter but, on this day against O’Day, it was plenty satisfying.

The two-run shot allowed the Jays to down the O’s 4-2, win the series and run their unbeaten streak to 10 games for the first time since September of 2008.

With the win, the Jays also bumped over .500 (37-36) for the first time this season and coupled with Tampa Bay’s loss to the Yankees, moved the Jays into a fourth-place tie with the Rays, who are 38-37.

Bautista, meanwhile, had done next to nothing in the preceding eight games — going a collective 4-for-31 — and was 0-for-3 on the day before he was inspired by another at-bat in a clutch situation against O’Day.

As he rounded the bases and headed for home, it was his turn to chirp back at the right-hander.

Tit for tat.

“I wasn’t too concerned about that,” Bautista started off when asked about his exchanges with O’Day. “I was just concerned about having a good at-bat for the team and trying to make something happen. We have a great streak going on and obviously we want to continue that and my focus was entirely on that. I managed to have a good at-bat, drive in the runs we needed and I’m happy about that.”

So, what did he say to O’Day?

“I told him just to keep talking like he was yesterday because he kind of ran his mouth a little bit after he struck me out,” Bautista said. “I don’t know where that came from, but I didn’t appreciate it and I let him know that yesterday. That’s a little reminder today that I didn’t appreciate it.”

Bautista added that he has no history with O’Day and doesn’t know what caused him to mouth off on Friday.

“Not that I know of, that’s why I was caught off-guard,” he said. “I don’t have a problem when pitchers celebrate with getting a big out in an inning, but when I can’t really hear what you’re saying it upsets me a little bit.”

Bautista said he didn’t know exactly what O’Day was yapping about as, with the crowd noise, he couldn’t make it out. He said to ask O’Day but in the Orioles clubhouse, the right-hander didn’t address the issue.

Bautista’s heroics aside, it was another day when the Jays played well, received quality pitching and some timely hitting. They also made some quality plays in the field and had a certain degree of luck on line drives hit right at them.

But that’s what happens when a team wins 10 in a row.

“I’m not learning anything, just the stuff that I knew coming in about this group of guys is getting reiterated, especially to the public,” Bautista said when asked about the team and it’s recent accomplishments. “We’re a resilient group. We don’t give up, we play hard every day, all nine innings. We might not get the result that we want every single day but lately we have, so it’s been a great run and hopefully we can continue.

“Everybody is contributing whether that be on defence, base-running, at the plate or pitching. The bullpen and the starting pitching have been phenomenal this month, they’re giving us a chance to win games and we’ve managed to get those timely hits when we need them. So everybody’s pitching in.”

On Saturday, that included Bautista.


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