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Hunter beaten on homer with 'best pitch'

Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Tommy Hunter has often been susceptible to the long ball. He gave up 11 home runs in 86 1/3 innings last year and 32 in 133 2/3 innings in 2012.

It was difficult to fault him for the first one he yielded this season though, even if it was a two-out, two-strike blast by the Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus that tied the score at 1 in the ninth inning of a game the Orioles went on to win, 2-1, in 12 innings on Saturday night.

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BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Tommy Hunter has often been susceptible to the long ball. He gave up 11 home runs in 86 1/3 innings last year and 32 in 133 2/3 innings in 2012.

It was difficult to fault him for the first one he yielded this season though, even if it was a two-out, two-strike blast by the Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus that tied the score at 1 in the ninth inning of a game the Orioles went on to win, 2-1, in 12 innings on Saturday night.

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After throwing two breaking balls for strikes and nearly getting a third strike with another breaking pitch on which Rasmus checked his swing, Hunter fired a 98 mph fastball. The Toronto center fielder deposited it into the bleachers in right-center field to force extra innings.

"I got beat with my fastball. I would say that's probably my best pitch," Hunter said. "Tip your cap. He got on top of a pretty hard fastball."

It was the first blown save in four opportunities this year for Hunter.

"Rasmus is a good hitter," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "To be on a fastball of that velocity after three straight breaking balls is impressive."

Kevin Dunleavy is a contributor to MLB.com

Baltimore Orioles, Tommy Hunter