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Blue Jays vs Orioles official thread


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays didn't have a shortage of runners on Monday night, but driving them in was a different story.
Toronto put eight runners on between the second and fifth innings, however, no Blue Jay made it past second base all night and the team stranded nine men.

Daniel Cabrera and three Baltimore relievers combined on a four-hit shutout -- only the second time this year that Toronto's been held scoreless -- in the 4-0 Orioles' win.

"He's one of the best pitchers we've faced all year," said catcher Gregg Zaun, who went 1-for-2 against Cabrera with a walk. "When he's throwing the ball over the plate, he's awfully tough."

Cabrera was making his first start since May 14 after being on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. He gave up no runs and three hits in five innings, while striking out nine and walking five en route to the win.

"He can dominate with the best of them when he's around that strike zone," manager John Gibbons said.

Cabrera, who's always had good stuff but is usually wild, threw his fastball in the 95-98 mph range. His strikeout total (9) was one short of a season high, and he's walked at least five batters in six of his nine starts.

The Blue Jays' offense entered the game leading the Major Leagues in team batting average, slugging percentage, hits and home runs. The team went 4-for-30 (.133) on Monday night, and of the 23 men that faced Cabrera, only nine put the ball in play.

"He can overpower you," Gibbons said. "He shut down a pretty good hitting team."

The 3-4-5 hitters for the Blue Jays, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, went 1-for-9 with three walks. Rios got the lone hit of that group, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Toronto was short-handed on Monday, with Troy Glaus (lower back) and Frank Catalanotto (left groin) sitting out after being injured on Sunday. In the first three games of the team's road trip, those two were a combined 8-for-22 (.364).

Starter Ted Lilly labored through six innings, giving up four runs -- three earned -- on 10 hits. It was Lilly's season high for hits allowed. He entered the game with a 2-0 record and a 2.84 ERA against the Orioles on the year, but Lilly fell behind in the count too often on Monday.

"I'm still not satisfied with the way I'm throwing the ball," Lilly said. "For me to be successful, I have to get ahead in the count more often."

Baltimore relievers Sendy Rleal, Chris Britton and LaTroy Hawkins pitched four innings, limiting the Blue Jays to one hit.

courtesy of bluejays.com


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
BALTIMORE -- Before Tuesday's game, Alex Rios said he's been more patient at the plate this season, seeing more pitches. And he showed off that new skill in the seventh inning.
Early in his at-bat, Rios hit a ball deep to left field that would have been a home run, except it was foul. But Rios patiently waited for another pitch, the seventh in the at-bat, and he drove it over the left-field wall.

"It was almost the same pitch as the one I hit [foul]," said Rios said.

Rios' 11th home run, already a career high, put the Blue Jays ahead for good on Tuesday, as they beat the Orioles, 6-4, at Camden Yards.

The win helped the Blue Jays keep pace in the American League East with the first-place Yankees, as Toronto sits in third place, three games behind New York.

Rios is hitting .359, best in the Major Leagues. He's got an eight-game hitting streak, going 14-for-35 in that span, and has not gone two straight starts without a hit all year.

"It's just working for him," manager John Gibbons said. "He's very confident right now. He makes it work."

A night after the Blue Jays were shut out on four hits, the American League's best offense clicked again Tuesday. They bested Monday's totals in three innings against Baltimore starter Erik Bedard, improving to 11-6 against left-handers on the season.

The top three hitters in Toronto's lineup -- Reed Johnson, Rios and Vernon Wells -- were a combined 7-for-13 with three RBIs, four runs and two walks.

"We really swung the bats well," Gibbons said.

Starter Ty Taubenheim went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits in his third start of the season, and first career appearance against the Orioles.

"I felt like the longer I went, the better control I had," Taubenheim said. "I'm happy with my performance."

Taubenheim retired the last seven hitters he faced, but was limited to around 80 pitches since it had been nine days between starts. The five innings tied his longest outing of the season.

He was in line for his first career win when he left, but the Orioles tied the game against Toronto's bullpen.

"He pitched very good," Gibbons said. "He gave us just what we needed."

Closer B.J. Ryan, who played with Baltimore from 1999-2005, entered the game to a majority of boos from the Camden Yards crowd, and then recorded his 14th save of the season.

Ryan struck out two, lowering his ERA to 0.65.

The Blue Jays used five relievers, and got a solid eighth inning from Jason Frasor, who struck out one of the three batters he faced. Scott Downs picked up his first win of the season.

Troy Glaus returned to the lineup after missing Monday's game, going 1-for-4 with a walk.

courtesy of bluejays.com


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have been successful this season largely because of their bats, but they showed off some glovework Wednesday.
With the tying runs on in the ninth inning, Aaron Hill chased down a popup into short left field, caught it and then fired a one-hop strike to catcher Bengie Molina, who tagged out Melvin Mora to end the game.

That play sealed the Blue Jays' 5-3 victory, and put the team 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the American League East.

"Hill's got some kind of an arm," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "A perfect one-hop throw right there."

Mora took off because Hill was running away from the infield, but even if Mora scored, the Orioles would have still trailed by a run.

"I was a little surprised [that Mora ran]," Hill said. "A few more steps, and he would've been safe. I got it enough where I wasn't still running backwards. I got to plant my feet and make a strong enough throw."

In the seventh inning with the bases loaded and the Orioles down one, pinch-hitter Jeff Conine hit a ball to the right side of the infield. Edgardo Alfonzo, who's struggled at the plate all season, ranged to his left to knock the ball down and make the play, protecting the lead.

"He can play some second base ... he had a couple of nice plays," Gibbons said. "It was just a great win."

The solid defense preserved the win for Casey Janssen, who turned in a quality outing. He pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits, while striking out five and not walking any.

"He pitched great," Gibbons said. "He can pitch. He's ahead of his experience level, he's just getting better."

It was the third time that Janssen faced off against Baltimore starter Kris Benson this year, and for the first time, Janssen came out on the winning end.

Janssen lost May 2 at Baltimore, giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings. He has won his last four decisions, giving up two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts.

"He looks like he settled in a little," said Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo. "He must have some pretty good late movement on his ball or something -- we had several broken bats and jam shots."

After getting the first two batters out in the fifth, Janssen gave up a single and hit the next batter, bringing Miguel Tejada to the plate. But Janssen induced an inning-ending ground ball to get out of the jam.

"I definitely had my back against the wall a couple of innings, but I was able to stick with my game plan and keep attacking," Janssen said.

B.J. Ryan put two runners on in the ninth, but earned the save for the second straight night, his 15th of the year in 16 opportunities.

Five Toronto relievers combined to pitch the last three innings, and Pete Walker pitched a perfect eighth to put the game in Ryan's hands.

The Blue Jays' offense took advantage of several Baltimore mistakes. Two wild pitches by Benson, one in the second and the other in the third, led to two Toronto runs, giving the Jays an early lead.

Toronto added two more in the seventh following a throwing error by Mora, and scored an insurance run in the ninth on back-to-back leadoff doubles.

"You're not going to outslug it every night," Gibbons said. "The key is to keep battling, to get a run here and there, and that makes the difference."

The Blue Jays are 4-2 on their current road swing, and will close it out on Thursday.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
BALTIMORE -- For the third consecutive night, the Blue Jays' bullpen was asked to protect a lead in a close game.
But for the first time in that span, the relievers couldn't come through -- the first time all season Toronto lost a game when leading after seven innings.

"They're tired. We've been using them a lot," manager John Gibbons said. "It just got away."

Three eighth-inning runs put the Orioles ahead, and they went on to win, 7-5, at Camden Yards on Thursday night.

Baltimore only had two hits in the eighth, and scored its late runs with some help from the Toronto relievers. Justin Speier hit Brandon Fahey with a pitch with the bases loaded and walked Brian Roberts with the bases loaded. Fahey later scored on a wild pitch by Scott Downs.

It was the third straight night that both Speier and Scott Schoeneweis pitched, and the second time in the last three games Downs was used.

"I feel fine. Everybody down there feels fine," Speier said. "We've got some guys who have pitched a lot out of the bullpen. ... I don't think that's a big deal."

In the four games at Baltimore, the Blue Jays' bullpen pitched 11 innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits. Toronto's bullpen is the third-most worked in the American League, having pitched 189 2/3 innings in 57 games. The relivers have a 4.70 ERA, fourth worst in the AL.

"They are competitors ... they want the ball," said Gibbons about his relievers.

With the loss, Toronto finished its seven-game road trip 4-3 and remained 2 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. The Jays split their four games with the Orioles after taking two of three from Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jays made several mistakes in the field, making three errors overall. Two of the errors came in the sixth inning, which led to an unearned run.

"We didn't help ourselves out defensively," Gibbons said. "And it bites you."

Roy Halladay pitched six innings, his shortest outing since early May. Halladay gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits.

"It was more challenging, trying to keep going and get outs," Halladay said. "It was a tough game."

Halladay retired the first six batters he faced, but labored through the next six innings. Before Thursday, he had pitched at least seven innings in his previous six starts.

"I was trying to keep going and get outs," he said. "That's the most frustrating thing -- not going all that deep."

The Blue Jays did not show off any of the power they've displayed all season, but they display why they have the best batting average in baseball, compiling 13 hits -- all singles.

Toronto put together five consecutive singles with one out in the sixth, which led to three runs and gave the team the lead. Bengie Molina and Frank Catalanotto each collected a base hit, extending each of their hitting streaks to 10 games.

Canadian Adam Loewen started for Baltimore and gave up five runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. In his second career start, he walked one and struck out two.

Chris Ray pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save of the season.