TORONTO— The Toronto Blue Jays finally got some hits Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Baltimore Orioles who exploded for four home runs.
Chris Davis’ fifth inning home run propelled the Baltimore Orioles over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4.
Davis was 2-for-3 on the night with two runs including the game winning homer, while Jonathan Schoop, J.J Hardy and Seth Smith also hit home runs for the Orioles (7-2), who sit atop of the American League East with a 1.5 game lead on the New York Yankees.
Zach Britton came in to close out the ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season, while Wade Miley (1-0) got the win after throwing six strong innings, while only giving up three runs on five hits and had eight strikeouts.
Aaron Sanchez (0-1) pitched 5.1 innings in the loss and gave up five runs on seven hits, including three home runs.
“I felt like I was throwing the ball well early on, just toward the latter part of the game there were balls that kind of crept toward the middle, curveballs that didn’t really have that much depth on them that got hit hard,” Sanchez said. “(It was) just one of those nights.”
Justin Smoak went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, while Kendrys Morales and Troy Tulowitzki had hits and each scored for the Blue Jays (1-9), who are now 0-for-4 to start their nine game home stand.
Home plate umpire and crew chief Dale Scott was stretchered off the field after taking a 94.5 MPH Aaron Loup fastball off his mask in the top of the eighth inning that resulted in a lengthy delay. Scott will be out for the remainder of the weekend after he sustained a concussion on the play.
“He’s one of the good guys, he works hard and umpires are vulnerable, just like a catcher,” John Gibbons said. “But it caught Dale, and I’m sure he’s had a few along the way, too. We’re all hoping that he’s doing OK.”
The Orioles got off to an early lead when Davis scored from third to open the scoring in the second inning off a wild pitch from Sanchez to make it 1-0.
Smoke replied for the Jays in the bottom of the inning with a first pitch single to left field that scored Morales and tied the game 1-1. With Smoak at first and Tulowitzki at third, the usually sure-handed Manny Machado dropped a softly hit double play ball for his first error of the season, which allowed Tulowitzki to score the Jays’ second run of the inning before the team stranded two base runners with back-to-back strikeouts.
“We had that one situation early in the game (in the second), had a couple of guys on, had that rally going, and then back-to-back strikeouts. Gibbons said.
Smoak hit his first homer of the season off Miley in the bottom of fourth inning to extend the lead 3-1.
“We got some runs up on the board today, it just wasn’t enough in the end,” Smoke said.
The Orioles rallied back in the top of the fifth inning with three runs off Sanchez. Schoop hit a leadoff homer which was followed by a two-run bomb to left by Hardy to take the lead 4-3.
Davis’ leadoff home run in the sixth inning off Sanchez to deep centre field extended the lead 5-3, which ended up being the winning run. Davis came into tonight’s matchup batting .375 off the right hander and added another couple hits off of the Jays pitchers.
“This dude’s got really good numbers off me, I don’t know if he sees me different than he sees other people, I don’t know if I get predictable in counts, he just one of those guys,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez was knocked out of the game off a Schoop single in the sixth inning.
“The (Orioles) know him well and he made a few mistakes. The ball came up, that’s what happens,” John Gibbons said. “It was one of those nights that with the curveball, he really couldn’t get a feel for that to get that going, which is big for him.”
The crowd was on their feet with the Jays threatening to score, Steve Pearce popped out to third with a man on first and second base to end the seventh after Darren O’Day gave up two hits in the inning.
Smith’s solo home run to right field off Jason Grilli in the ninth inning extended the Orioles lead 6-3, which sucked the life out of crowd at Rogers Centre.
Devon Travis, who was moved to the ninth spot in the batting order, finally broke out of his 0-for-29 slump at the plate with a two-out single in the ninth inning off Britton that scored Martin to cut the lead to 6-4 and sparked a hopeful ninth inning rally.
In a déjà vu situation the Blue Jays were knocking at the door in the bottom of the ninth with two men on base and Pearce as the winning run at the plate. On a 3-2 count, Britton struck out Pearce to end the threat and secure the win for the Orioles and extend the Jays’ losing streak to seven games in a row.
Gibbons is optimistic about the team’s struggling offense after it broke out for 10 hits in the ball game.
“One thing that’s encouraging about tonight is we got some hits,” said Gibbons, “That’s definitely a good thing.”
The third game of the series continues on Saturday where the Blue Jays will send Marco Estrada (0-1) to the mound up against Alec Asher (0-0), who is making his season debut for Baltimore.