TORONTO -- Baltimore's bats fell quiet on Friday night in Toronto, as the Orioles collected just five hits in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.The Orioles entered Friday with the second-fewest runs in Major League Baseball, ahead of only the Marlins, and manager Buck Showalter gave
TORONTO -- Baltimore's bats fell quiet on Friday night in Toronto, as the Orioles collected just five hits in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
The Orioles entered Friday with the second-fewest runs in Major League Baseball, ahead of only the Marlins, and manager Buck Showalter gave struggling slugger Chris Davis the day off to reset. But Baltimore couldn't solve J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays' bullpen. The O's have now scored one run or fewer 18 times this season, the most in the Majors.
"We just couldn't generate much offense," Showalter said. "I'm not going to take anything away from Happ -- he's been good for a long time -- but it's a double-edged sword: A good pitcher and not swinging the bats well."
Starter Andrew Cashner allowed a steady stream of baserunners with nine hits and two walks over his six innings of work, but was fortunate that the two home runs he allowed to Randal Grichuk and Russell Martin were solo shots.
"He was frustrated with his lack of fastball command," Showalter said. "He's usually dialed up down and away but that was a challenge for him. He figured out a way to keep us in the game."
Neither homer off Cashner was hit particularly hard, with exit velocities below 97 mph and hit probabilities of 17 and 40 percent, according to Statcast™. That balanced out some hard contact against Cashner that stayed in the park, though. He allowed five base hits with exit velocities north of 100 mph, but all five went for singles.
"The biggest thing is getting my sinker down and away, locating that," Cashner said. "I think everything else will come back on that."
Craig Gentry was responsible for three of Baltimore's five hits, a double -- the O's only extra-base hit -- and two singles. Baltimore struck out just three times in the game, but wasn't able to string runners together.
"We're not going to sit there and try to win one- or two-nothing ballgames all year in the American League," Showalter said. "In the American League East, it's just not a good combination."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Baltimore's lone run wasn't pretty, but it counted. With runners on first and second in the second inning, Trey Mancini grounded into what looked like a potential double play. The Blue Jays got the out at second, but Devon Travis made a low throw to first that skipped under the glove of Justin Smoak and into foul territory, allowing Danny Valencia to round third and score.
The Orioles are now 9-25 on the road. That .265 winning percentage is the lowest in Major League Baseball.
HE SAID IT
"Some of the hits tonight that could have gone our way were diving plays they made. Over the past week, our bats have gotten better. Tonight, it didn't really show, but the bats are getting better and we're starting to square up balls." -- Cashner
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Valencia tried to stretch a single into a double to open the top of the ninth inning, but was called out on a close play at second base. The replay showed that Valencia had almost bent his lead leg around the glove of Travis on his slide, but the umpires confirmed the out call upon the review.
The Orioles play their third game of the four-game set against the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at 1:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. Kevin Gausman will take the mound for Baltimore against Aaron Sanchez and is looking to rebound from a tough start against the Yankees. Gausman allowed five earned runs on nine hits, including two home runs, over 5 1/3 innings, but he did strike out nine batters.
Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.