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Cashner starts strong, then struggles in loss

Righty allows 3 hits in 4 frames before giving up 4 runs in 5th inning
August 20, 2018

TORONTO -- Andrew Cashner looked strong through four innings, but he got into trouble in the fifth inning, surrendering four runs in a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.Richard Urena led off the fifth inning with a ground-rule double to flip the Blue Jays' lineup. After leadoff

TORONTO -- Andrew Cashner looked strong through four innings, but he got into trouble in the fifth inning, surrendering four runs in a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Richard Urena led off the fifth inning with a ground-rule double to flip the Blue Jays' lineup. After leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson grounded out, Kevin Pillar hit a scorcher with a 101-mph exit velocity to left field for a double to bring in Urena. Justin Smoak followed with a walk and Kendrys Morales crushed a ball a projected 437 feet, per Statcast™, over the right-field wall for a three-run shot, his second homer of the night.
Cashner's fifth-inning troubles came when facing the Blue Jays' lineup for the third time. Coming into Monday night, he had allowed opponents to hit .336 the third time through the order, the sixth highest opponents' batting average for MLB starters with at least 100 batters faced the third time through the order.
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"He had probably three pitches he'd like to take back," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Sometimes at this level, that's enough to be the difference."
Showalter says he doesn't think there's much Cashner needs to change. He would like to see Cashner limit his walks, but his pitch selection was good against the Blue Jays for four innings. Cashner says he just needs to execute pitches better to alleviate some of his troubles.
"I didn't really locate or command my off-speed very well," Cashner said. "I was trying to go sinker down and away and it just stayed middle, but I've got to do a better job executing and stop the bleeding and never let that happen."
The 31-year-old starter finished the night allowing seven hits, five runs and recording three strikeouts over six innings. He turned the ball over to Mike Wright Jr. and Mychal Givens, who each pitched a scoreless inning.
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"It's good to see [Wright] get back on the horse," Showalter said. "He's kind of gotten back to what was making him pitch much better -- that was kind of a good, clean inning. I needed to get him and [Givens] on the field tonight, they've had some time off."
The Orioles' offense scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning, starting with Renato Nunez's solo homer off Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada. Two batters later, Craig Gentry hit a double and advanced to third on an error by left fielder Curtis Granderson. Caleb Joseph followed by smacking a double off Blue Jays reliever Dennis Tepera to cash in Gentry and close the book on Estrada.

Estrada finished the night working 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs.
"You see a guy like Estrada with a lot of young hitters, not much experience in the lineup, that's right up his alley," Showalter said. "He's going to use that aggressiveness."
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The Blue Jays' bullpen shut down the Orioles and Ken Giles recorded the save for Toronto.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Orioles only score one with bases loaded: After a Cedric Mullins flyout, the Orioles loaded the bases in the third inning. Chris Davis hit a shallow fly ball to right field to cash in Jonathan Villar on a sac fly, but that was all the Orioles could get as Nunez fouled out in the next at-bat.

"That hit's been elusive to really open up an inning," Showalter said.
SOUND SMART
Gentry singled twice and doubled as part of a 3-for-4 night. It was his third three-hit game of the season, and his first since June 8, also in Toronto.
UP NEXT
Dylan Bundy (7-11, 4.99 ERA) takes the mound against the Blue Jays on Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. ET in the second game of a three game set at Rogers Centre. The 25-year-old right-hander has allowed seven earned runs in each of his last two outings, and he's posted an 8.33 ERA in seven starts since the beginning of July. Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio (2-6, 5.13) has also struggled since July, posting a 6.53 ERA in his last nine starts. He has been unable to go six innings pitched since facing the Orioles on July 20.

** Aaron Rose ** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.