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Reyes has 2 RBIs as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-2

TORONTO -- Since 1993, when Joe Carter's World Series-ending home run off Mitch Williams gave the Toronto Blue Jays their second title, 29 major league teams have qualified for the playoffs at least once.

The only one that hasn't is Toronto, whose postseason drought became the major leagues' longest Friday when the Kansas City Royals clinched their first playoff berth since winning the 1985 championship.

Kansas City's breakthrough came one year after the sport's second-longest absence ended, when the Pittsburgh Pirates reached the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

"Maybe third time's a charm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Saturday after his team beat AL East champion Baltimore 4-2. "We'll see."

Toronto's playoff absence is the longest among all four major North American sports leagues, eclipsing the NFL's Buffalo Bills (14 years), the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves (10 years) and the NHL's Edmonton Oilers (eight years).

And the Blue Jays are the only team in the majors not to record a 90-win season since 1994, with 88 wins in 1998 their high.

"This division is tough," right-hander Dustin McGowan said of the AL East. "It used to be the Yankees and Boston. Now, the last couple of years you've seen Baltimore and Tampa Bay really starting to come up."

Toronto was 38-24 on the morning of June 7 and led the AL East by six games. Since then they're 45-54, including a 9-17 slide in August.

"This one is probably going to be the season that stings the most," said closer Casey Janssen, a career Blue Jay who is eligible for free agency. "Out of my years here, it's the one that you could really say got away. It's really too bad, because I think everyone had that sense that this was going to be that year, that special season."

Jose Reyes had two hits and two RBIs in Toronto's penultimate game, and left-hander J.A. Happ won consecutive starts for the first time since late May.

Happ (11-11) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings for his first winning streak since posting three straight victories from May 15-25. Janssen got three outs for his 25th save in 30 chances.

Wei-Yin Chen (16-6) allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in six innings.

UP NEXT

Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-9) will face Blue Jays RHP R.A. Dickey (14-12) in Sunday's season finale. Gonzalez is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays this season. He's seeking to become the fourth Baltimore starter with at least 10 wins, something the Orioles have not done since 1997.