They won’t all go so easy. Wednesday night in Toronto, things went poorly for the O’s, as the Blue Jays salvaged the final game of the three-game series, 6-4.
Miguel Gonzalez was on the mound, trying to build on the momentum of his last start Friday night in New York—a seven inning, four hit, zero run outing. Instead, the Blue Jays got to the Orioles rookie for five earned runs on seven hits through 6.1 innings.
The O’s spotted Gonzalez a 2-0 lead in the second. Adam Jones began the inning with his 27th home run off Jays’ starter Brandon Morrow. Three walks and one force out later, it was 2-0. The Jays got one back on an RBI double from Kelly Johnson in the second. Rajai Davis homered off Gonzalez (L, 6-4) in the third to tie things at 2.
Gonzalez then settled down, retiring 11 of the next 12 Blue Jays before hitting a wall in the seventh. Yunel Escobar hit Gonzalez’s first pitch of the inning into right for a bloop double. A bunt single from Johnson moved Escobar up to third. One out later, Adeiny Hechavarria dropped a safety squeeze that plated Escobar for a 3-2 Toronto lead, and the night was over for Gonzalez.
Luis Ayala entered, and, as has been an issue for him more so than most of the O’s bullpen this season, both his inherited runners would come in to score. Speedy Anthony Gose tapped one to JJ Hardy, but the O’s shortstop couldn’t handle it. The infield single loaded the bases for Rajai Davis. Ayala’s 1-0, 90 MPH fastball in was sent back up the middle by Davis, finding its way into center field. Johnson and Hechavarria scored, and Gose was awarded home plate on a throwing error by Adam Jones, who bounced on past Manny Machado at third base.
The O’s would get a couple of other shots. Down 6-2 in the eighth, the O’s had Machado on second and Hardy on first with one out. With Jays lefty Darren Oliver pitching, Buck Showalter went to his bench, giving Lew Ford a pinch hitting at-bat for Nate McLouth. After hitting a fly ball that was ruled foul (it was—barely) down the left field line, Ford smashed one hard, but right to third, for a 5-4-3 double play.
Mark Reynolds tacked on a two-run homer (17) in the ninth to pull things close, but the next batter, Omar Quintanilla, was called out on strikes to end the game.
The Orioles head back home to take on the Yankees in a four-game weekend set beginning Thursday night. Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.54) makes his return from the DL for the O’s, vs. David Phelps (3-4, 3.13) for New York. First pitch is 7:05, but before that the O’s will honor Cal Ripken with the unveiling of his statue in the legends series.
- Jones: 2-3, HR, RBI.
- Machado: 2-3, 2B, RBI.
- Brian Matusz: .2IP, 2K, 1BB.
- Tommy Hunter: 1 perfect inning in relief.
- O’s were 0-6 with RISP.
- Chris Davis: 0/3, 1BB, 3K.
- Nick Markakis: 0/4, 4LOB.
- The Yankees win. The Yanks are a game up on the O’s in the AL East. And, don’t look now, but here come the Angels. They beat the A’s Wednesday, which may not be the worst thing in the world, but the Angels have now won 8 of 9, and are just 2.5 games behind in the wild card race.