It was supposed to be an exciting night for Toronto Blue Jays fans.
All that delight was erased quickly in a 9-3 loss. Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (11-8) was lit up by a team loaded with hitters who have experienced past success against him. Five batters in the Orioles starting lineup have career batting averages of over .300 against the veteran lefty, including Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Delmon Young and Chris Davis.
And it showed.
In the first inning, Buehrle gave up three hits and a walk, but thanks to a nifty double play, no runs came around to score. Through the first two innings, Baltimore had stranded five base runners but no damage had been done. JJ Hardy got the Orioles on the board in the third with an RBI double.
Then the wheels fell off in the fourth. Lawrie, who ripped a single in his first plate appearance, was pulled from the game because of back tightness. Then four straight hits, including back-to-back homers from Caleb Joseph and Jonathan Schoop put the O’s up 3-o.
Another run would score when Danny Valencia, Lawrie’s replacement, misplayed a ground ball off the artificial turf at Rogers Centre.
When the inning was all said and done, Mark Buehrle had thrown 96 pitches for the game. That would be it for him as he gave way to Aaron Sanchez. Buehrle surrendered 10 hits and three walks before hitting the showers.
Colby Rasmus temporarily restored hope to the Toronto crowd with a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the fourth.
Davis responded for the visitors in the next inning, taking Sanchez deep to give Baltimore a 5-2 lead. It was the first long ball Sanchez has allowed in his major-league career. The youngster responded as he struck out the side in the frame. But in the sixth, the command issues that plagued Sanchez in the minors reared their head. The right-hander gave up two walks in the inning, and allowed another run to score.
Orioles starter Bud Norris (9-7) went 5 1/3, surrendering just two runs to help widen the gap between his team and the Jays in the American League East standings. Toronto now sits five games back in the division.
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays