It was a game filled with walks, errors, poor pitching, home runs (by the Jays), a couple defensive gems, and a timely rally.
The O’s took the lead in the first—it was the 15th time in 22 games that the Jays have given up the first run(s)—but JP Arencibia hit a two-run shot in the second, scoring Melky ahead of him. It was the first of four home runs against O’s starter Josh Stinson.
The Jays pushed the lead to 3-1 in the third on a Rajai Homer, but an error in the bottom of the inning by Brett Lawrie gave that run back. Home runs by Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista made the score 5-2 Jays in the sixth inning.
Brandon Morrow pitched into the seventh, but after a walk and a double, he was relieved by Aaron Loup. Loup has struggled with his location lately, but he retired the first batter he faced. He then gave up a run-scoring single, a stolen base, and a triple before retiring the side. When all was said and done, the O’s rallied for three in the bottom of the 7th to tie it at 5 apiece.
The O’s mounted a mild threat in the bottom of the ninth and a more serious threat in the bottom of the 10th inning. A Machado single, a Bautista error, and a Hardy single had Machado headed to the plate for the win. Rajai fielded the ball cleanly on a hop and made a perfect throw to JPA for the out.
The Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen was outstanding in the game except for one-third of an inning. In the 11th inning the Jays worked Jim Johnson for an unearned run to take the lead into the bottom of the frame. Prior to that the O’s ‘pen pitched 5 innings of shutout ball. It was the last third of an inning that created the problem. The Jays scratched out the run on a pair of singles, a HBP, and a walk.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Jays’ most effective closer since a healthy BJ Ryan came in and slammed the door shut. Casey Janssen was aggressive, effective and successful. It’s a pleasure to watch him pitch.
The Jays salvaged one win in a 3-game series again, but it was a hard-fought series and the teams were evenly-matched. If this series was any indication, Baltimore’s ‘pen is excellent again and the team as a whole plays sound, fundamental baseball. The 11th-inning rally by the Jays could be attributed to a tired Jim Johnson very easily. This is not to detract from the Jays’ win, but it was Johnson’s third straight game making an appearance.
Anyways, the Jays have no business being 9-13 after 22 games the way they’ve played. They’ve only won one series in large part because they aren’t hitting, pitching, or playing defense very well. Had I just returned from Tombouctou (yes it does exist; it’s in Mali), after working there for several months and you gave me a blow-by-blow description of the year-to-date, I’d be shocked to hear that they were only four games under .500. Believe it or not, there’s great reason for optimism is you’re a Jays’ fan.