O's thump Blue Jays in return to Baltimore
BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones each homered while Ubaldo Jimenez tossed seven strong innings in the Orioles' 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Camden Yards.
Baltimore set the tone early when Machado led off the first inning with his sixth home run of the season. Later in the inning, Davis added a two-run shot as the long ball continued to plague Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada. Despite the first-inning homers, Estrada found a way to settle down and allowed just the three runs over five innings.
The early run support was all that Jimenez would need on a night when he simply overpowered Toronto's lineup. Jimenez struck out the side in the first and again in the fourth before finishing his outing with a season-high nine strikeouts. He allowed just two runs on six hits en route to his third victory of the year. It was especially uplifting, considering the Orioles were coming off an extended road trip because of the recent unrest in Baltimore.
"It felt great," Jimenez said of pitching in front of the home crowd. "It felt good to be back, having some pride. All of the people that came to the game tonight, they were into the game since the first pitch. So that definitely motivated us to play. You're going to have good fans out there cheering the whole game. It felt really good."
Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was one of the only hitters to have much success against Jimenez. Carrera finished with a pair of RBI doubles, and Kevin Pillar went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Jimmy Paredes and Davis each had two hits for the Orioles.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jimenez solid again: Jimenez has completely put last year's disappointing season behind him to become the Orioles' most reliable pitcher. In addition to the season-high nine strikeouts, he allowed just two walks -- an area where he has struggled since joining the team. Jimenez also threw a season-high 109 pitches and appeared to tire in the seventh, which ended with right fielder Delmon Young's lunging, run-saving grab on a Ryan Goins liner.
"Shoot, he looks great," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Jimenez. "That's his third start against us. He's living on the corners with a lot of movement and just pounding strikes. He was great, he was great again tonight." More >
O's love the long ball: The Orioles set the tone with two homers in the first inning off Estrada, who was making his first career start against them. Machado led off with a liner that just cleared the wall in right-center, and four batters later, Davis crushed Estrada's first pitch deep into the bleachers for a two-run shot and 3-0 lead. Jones hit his sixth home run in the seventh to provide some more breathing room.
Doubling down: The Blue Jays were getting overmatched by Jimenez until the fifth inning, when Pillar and Carrera hit back-to-back doubles. Jimenez had faced just one batter over the minimum until that point. It marked the 30th consecutive game that the Blue Jays doubled at least once, which is two shy of the club record set in 2007.
"It's exciting to be able to play in front of our home fans again. We had a tough road trip, so it's nice to get back here and kind of settle down and get into a nice rhythm starting tonight. That's kind of what we need now, kind of reset a little bit." -- Zach Britton, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save
"Maybe I should throw more pitches in the 'pen, but I know since I'm building up I don't want to use too many out there. Maybe it's costing me a little bit. I made a bad pitch to Machado, he got it, and then I tried going up and in on Davis, and actually got it to where I wanted to, but he just got that one so there's nothing you can do about that one, just tip your cap." -- Estrada, on his rough first inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Home runs have been a recurring problem for Estrada the past couple of seasons. Last year, he led the Majors with 29 homers allowed, with all but two of those coming as a starting pitcher. The number is especially high considering Estrada's last start of the 2014 season came on July 7. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
• Gibbons used his challenge in the bottom of the fourth after Josh Donaldson was charged with a throwing error. Steve Pearce hit a ground ball to third that Donaldson fielded cleanly, but his throw forced Justin Smoak to come off the bag at first. Gibbons felt that Smoak's foot remained on the bag, but after the play went to review, the call stood.
• Toronto did come out on the winning end of a crew-chief review in the top of the seventh inning. Pillar hit into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but first-base umpire Bruce Dreckman's call was overturned after replay showed Pillar beat the throw. Carrera followed with an RBI double off the wall in center field.
Blue Jays: Left-hander Mark Buehrle will take the mound on Tuesday night (7:05 ET) looking to build some momentum off his previous start. Buehrle allowed one run over five innings in that outing against the Yankees, and it was his first win vs. New York since 2004. The two outings prior to that start, Buehrle surrendered 13 runs in 10 innings.
Orioles: Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman (2-4, 6.25 ERA) is trying to snap a three-game losing streak and earn his first win since April 18. He has lost both of his starts against the Blue Jays this season, allowing seven runs in each of those games.
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