When the Toronto Blue Jays traveled to New York to battle the Yankees last week, they were swept away by the Bronx Bombers in three games over just two days. It’s what you’d expect from a good team, well seasoned in the execution of baseball down the stretch.
When the Blue Jays came into Camden Yards Monday, they came in having dropped those tree games, plus three in a row over the weekend to Tampa Bay—six straight losses. The Orioles were coming off a 6-3 road trip, having won 6 of the last 7 road games. And yet, unlike the Yankee series, the Jays have opened in Baltimore, winning two of three games over two days.
The Jays beat Joe Saunders (L, 2-3/8-13) and the Orioles 4-0 Tuesday night, out hitting the O’s 13-6.
Jays starter Aaron Laffey (W, 4-6) threw 5.2 shutout innings on five hits, and the Jays bullpen pulled their best O’s-alike act, allowing just one hit the rest of the way.
Toronto scored one in the first on an RBI single from Yan Gomes. They mounted a two-out rally off Saunders in the fourth in a Rajai Davis single and a double from Adieny Hechavarria. In the seventh, A Colby Rasmus RBI hit knocked Saunders out of the game, and Luis Ayala promptly gave up an inherited run on a hit to Edwin Encarnacion.
The Orioles had a shot in the ninth. With two outs and one on, Jays closer Casey Janssen walked both Manny Machado and Jim Thome. Buck Showalter had a veteran on his bench in Endy Chavez, but decided to stick with Ryan Flaherty, a guy who could tie the game with one swing. And one swing he took, at the very first pitch he saw—a hittable, 91 MPH fastball that Flaherty popped up to center.
The O’s and Jays wrap up their four-game set Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Miguel Gonzalez (7-4, 3.52) goes for the Orioles, vs. Carlos Villanueva (7-6, 3.88) for Toronto. First pitch is slated for 7:05.
- L. J. Hoes makes his big league debut, pinch-running for Jim Thome in the ninth.
- Dylan Bundy’s Camden Yards debut: 1IP, 1H, 1BB, 0R
- Chris Davis made a couple of nice plays in right, including an outfield assist. It’s hard to understand why he couldn’t handle first base for as well as he’s done in the outfield.
- The Minnesota Twins came back late on the Yankees, scoring 4 in the seventh on 3 singles, 2 walks, a double and a wild pitch…Twins 5, Yankees 4. The Orioles remain just 1.5 out of first in the AL East.
- The 5-9 spots in the O’s order: 1/17, 3BB, 1K.
- O’s: 0/4 with RISP, 9 left on.
- Oakland won in Texas 3-2. The Angels beat Seattle, 5-4. And the Rays are making noise again, beating Boston, 5-2. The Orioles own the top Wild Card spot, but they’re only half a game up on the A’s, 1.5 up on the Angels, and just 2.5 ahead of the Rays. The birds have to start getting back to beating up on bad teams again.