Not unlike several other games this year, it seemed like the Orioles offense forgot to show up Friday night at Toronto. Maybe the bats got held up at customs? Baltimore managed four runs in the first game of the series Thursday night. That wasn’t enough then, and it would not have been enough tonight.
The Orioles fell, 5-1, to the Blue Jays and moved to an abysmal 19-43 on the season. They’ll have to wait at least one more game to get their 20th win, and it’s already the second week of June.
Both teams scored once in the second inning, but Toronto plated a run apiece in innings five-through-eight to wrap up another home win.
We might as well get the Orioles lone run out of the way. It was a giveaway at the hands of a throwing error, and it briefly provided Baltimore a one run lead.
After Danny Valencia and Mark Trumbo worked walks in the second inning, Trey Mancini hit a ground ball that should have ended the threat. Instead, Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis tossed an errant throw to first base. Valencia came around to score on the error, and the Orioles had the early advantage.
Cashner failed to deliver an early shut down inning, and an unlikely candidate evened the score for Toronto. Just as MASN’s Gary Thorne mentioned Toronto catcher Russell Martin’s .165 batting average this season, Martin blasted a solo shot to left field. Maybe Thorne should mention Chris Davis’s average a little more often.
The Blue Jays tried to make this one interesting, but the Orioles wouldn’t bite. Craig Gentry led off the third with an absolute gift base hit. The ball hit Kevin Pillar’s glove and fell to the ground in shallow center field. Gentry proceeded to steal second, but the Orioles two, three and four hitters could not drive Gentry in. Toronto wanted to give Baltimore another run, but the Orioles didn’t take it this time.
Baltimore starter Andrew Cashner pitched well enough to provide his team a chance to win the game. Cashner, now 2-8 on the season, worked six innings and allowed three runs. The righty surrendered nine hits and walked two, but struck out for batters on the night. Two of the three runs came via the long ball.
Randal Grichuk provided Toronto a 2-1 advantage with a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning. Cashner left the ball up, and Grichuk hit a towering fly ball over the left field wall. The run marked the first of four consecutive innings in which the Blue Jays scored a run.
Martin continued to taunt Thorne and the Orioles with an RBI single to left field in the sixth inning. Teoscar Hernandez came around to score, but Joey Rickard’s throw to home was cut off and the Orioles caught Pillar in between second and third. The heads up play briefly kept Baltimore in the game, but the Orioles managed only five hits in the entire matchup and never truly threatened.
Hernandez hammered a triple off the right field wall in the seventh inning. Gentry crashed into the wall, and Yangervis Solarte came around to score. Pillar capped the Blue Jays scoring with a solo home run in the eighth inning.
Toronto needed a strong start from JA Happ after having five bullpen arms work in the extra inning contest on Thursday. Happ delivered. The lefty pitched seven innings of two hit ball on his way to his eighth win of the season. Happ struck out three, walked two and lowered his season ERA to 3.71.
Gentry finished 3-3 and notched a majority of the Orioles hits from the nine hole. He doubled in the fifth with two outs, but Rickard failed to bring him home. Gentry also swiped his ninth bag of the season.
Danny Valencia perfectly epitomized the Orioles season in the top of the ninth inning. Down four runs, Valencia was thrown out attempting to stretch a single into a double with nobody out. The play was reviewed, and it appeared that maybe the Blue Jays missed the tag, but the call was upheld and any chance at a rally was killed. Jonathan Schoop popped out to the catcher, and Mark Trumbo flied out to end the contest.
This was likely the game with the most definitive pitching advantage in the series. Happ dominated, while Cashner pitched an average ball game. Tanner Scott and Mike Wright Jr. both allowed a run apiece in an inning of relief.
The best the Orioles can hope for now is a series split. Kevin Gausman will take the mound against Aaron Sanchez Saturday afternoon. Sanchez has not worked deep into many games this year, so maybe the Orioles will be able to get to the bullpen tomorrow afternoon.