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Orioles fall to Blue Jays, 4-3; Brach gives up game-ending HR

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Kevin Gausman had a nice start, but the battle of the bullpens was ultimately won by the Blue Jays.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles aren't perfect, as much as they've seemed to be just that over the course of the past week. Buck Showalter's group proved to be human on Friday night, losing a tough one at the Rogers Center.

The good news? They still lock down first place in the AL East at 12 games over .500!

The recap

The first few innings seemed to be the beginnings of a rough outing for Kevin Gausman. In the first, he surrendered two hits that turned into a run courtesy of an errant throw on an attempted pickoff attempt. Ezequiel Carrera scored on a Josh Donaldson single (cue the boos) to put Toronto on the board first.

But as the innings rolled along, Gausman settled down nicely. He'd hold the Blue Jays to just three over 6.1 total innings - and have a legitimate quality start.

Unfortunately, veteran right-hander Marco Estrada decided he wanted to try to have the night of his life as well.

As Gausman fired, Estrada continued to one-up him. The 32-year-old mowed down Orioles like it was his job (perhaps because it is), taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

With one out in the fifth, Jonathan Schoop figured that it was time to put an end to the madness. He launched a home run to left field, cutting the Toronto lead in half.

Ryan Flaherty and Nolan Reimold tacked on hits after Schoop's one-out round-tripper, but Adam Jones and Hyun-Soo Kim (one and two in the lineup) couldn't do what the bottom third did, putting an added 0-2 in the RISP category to end the threat.

But in the sixth, after a quick scoreless half-inning from Gausman, Chris Davis continued to prove why he was made a very, very rich man in the offseason. He crushed, no pun intended, a two-run home run to center off of Estrada. Manny Machado scored on the long-ball after walking to start the inning, putting the Birds up 3-2.

Sticking with the topsy-turvy theme, Gausman coughed up a sixth-inning RBI single to Russell Martin to knot the game at three, setting up a classic Orioles nail-biting finish. In the top of the seventh inning, this tweet from the Camden Chat Twitter summed it up best:

The offense decided to go down quietly for the rest of the nine innings, but the bullpen made up for their struggles with some impressive frames of their own. Michael Givens tossed 1.2 innings of shutout ball, while Brad Brach worked a scoreless ninth to send us to extras.

Unfortunately, the top third of the O's lineup went down in order to begin the 10th to set up disaster in the bottom of the inning. Brad Brach's 0.81 ERA was just too good to be true, as he surrendered a game-ending home run to Edwin Encarnacion to wrap up Friday night's action.

The Orioles are back in action tomorrow with a 1:07 eastern start against the pesky Blue Jays!