Late rally propels O's past Blue Jays
TORONTO -- Caleb Joseph had an RBI single and Manny Machado added a two-run double, as the Orioles rallied for three runs in the ninth to secure a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
Baltimore had runners on first and second with two outs when Joseph came to the plate. Blue Jays left-hander Aaron Loup didn't do himself any favors by hitting Ryan Flaherty in the previous at-bat, and things went from bad to worse for the Toronto reliever following a line-drive single over the head of second baseman Ryan Goins. Baltimore went on to add two more runs on Machado's double.
The Orioles' rally came one inning after the Blue Jays wasted a golden opportunity to take a late lead. Toronto had the bases loaded with nobody out, but Darren O'Day struck out Russell Martin, Dioner Navarro and Kevin Pillar to end the threat. Included in that inning was a Navarro fly ball that went foul and missed being a grand slam by about a foot.
"We had them on the ropes, but really there's nobody tougher out there than O'Day," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "You look at his numbers, you look at what he has done over the years, he's a tough at-bat, he really is."
Travis Snider went 3-for-4 and Delmon Young added a sacrifice fly in the winning effort for the Orioles. Right-hander Kevin Gausman took a no-decision, after he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over five innings. Toronto lefty Mark Buehrle also didn't factor into the decision, after he allowed two runs over seven strong innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bullpen coughs it up: Toronto's bullpen entered play on Saturday with a 2.19 ERA in June, but the recent positive results were spoiled in the ninth inning. Loup allowed a leadoff single to Chris Davis and then with two outs he hit Flaherty to put runners on first and second. That's when Joseph came through with a sharp single to center field on a 1-0 fastball. More>
O'Day the escape artist: After loading the bases on a pair of singles and a full-count walk, O'Day worked his way out of a jam in the eighth inning. The veteran righty struck out the side, ending the inning on a punchout of Pillar, who slammed his bat into the dirt in frustration, as Toronto couldn't take the lead.
The O's used that momentum immediately, turning the tables in scoring a trio of of two-out runs.
"Yeah, it is a game of momentum," O'Day said about whether his efforts helped swing the pendulum the O's way. "Especially here in Toronto with this team, 'Momentum Squad.' It's tough here to keep your cool -- and all of our guys did a great job today. We are going to scrap something together, and the way the ninth worked out, it's interesting that a hit-by-pitch played into the game -- the winning run scoring."
Reyes keeps raking: Jose Reyes led off the game with a double to the corner in right field. He would later advance to third on a fielder's choice and then score on a shallow sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion. Reyes is batting .304 (31-for-102) since returning from the disabled list on May 25 and has at least one hit in 21 of his last 24 games.
Gausman debuts: Making his first start of the season, Gausman didn't factor into Saturday's decision, but pitched well. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over five innings, as he was limited to 91 pitches in his first outing off of the disabled list.
"That was awesome for me, even just warming up, thinking it's only been a month [on the DL] and it feels like it's been forever," said Gausman, who stranded a pair of runners in the second inning. "It was a little sporadic the first inning. I thought there were some pitches that were strikes that weren't called. But that's a part of the game. I dealt with it last year also, but I felt like I really settled in. It was really big for me to get out of that jam in the second inning." More>
"It happens. Obviously, it's frustrating when a situation is like that. But O'Day made some good pitches and got out of the jam." -- Buehrle on the Blue Jays coming away empty handed in the eighth.
"He doesn't try to get ahead of himself and say, 'This is what I've got to have here.' He goes pitch to pitch and sees where it takes [him]. He made some good pitches to Bautista and Encarnacion, and they flipped a couple in there. Biggest thing was keeping them in the ballpark for two days. It's hard to do." -- O's manager Buck Showalter on O'Day.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Toronto fell short of tying a franchise record with its 10th consecutive victory at home. The Blue Jays had won nine games in a row at Rogers Centre entering play on Saturday, but the record set in 1985 remains intact. Toronto won 10 straight home games from July 21-Aug. 3 that season.
Gibbons lost his challenge in the sixth inning, following a play at the plate. With the bases loaded and one out, Baltimore's Delmon Young lifted a fly ball to shallow left field. Chris Colabello made the catch but his throw appeared to be late, as Manny Machado slid home to tie the game at 2. Gibbons asked for a review and following a brief delay the original call on the field was confirmed.
The umpiring crew also agreed to review a call in the eighth inning, when Navarro hit a deep fly ball to right field. It nearly became a go-ahead grand slam, but the ball went foul by about a foot. The call on the field was confirmed and Navarro eventually struck out, as the Blue Jays came away empty handed.
Orioles: Chris Tillman will take the mound in the series finale in Toronto on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. ET. The right-hander has started to turn things around as of late, and enters the game 5-7 with a 5.58 ERA on the season.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Scott Copeland will make his third start of the year when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series on Sunday against the Orioles at 1:07 p.m. ET. Copeland has been filling in for Aaron Sanchez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lat. The 27-year-old Copeland allowed three runs over four innings during his last outing against the Mets.
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