Toronto Blue Jays’ Kendrys Morales, left, singles in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Welington Castillo and home plate umpire Gerry Davis in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Thursday. Ryan Goins scored on the play. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Morales’ 3 HRs, 7 RBIs carry Blue Jays past Orioles 11-8

BALTIMORE — The power-laden Baltimore Orioles simply couldn’t muster enough offence to outdo Toronto slugger Kendrys Morales.

Baltimore’s seven-game winning streak ended under a barrage of home runs by Morales, who went deep three times and had a career-high seven RBIs to provide the Blue Jays with an 11-8 victory Thursday night.

Looking to sustain its charge into the thick of the AL playoff picture, Baltimore bolted to a 5-2 lead in the third inning before the last-place Blue Jays stormed back behind Morales, who had four hits and scored four runs.

“When you score eight runs, you’ve got to win the ballgame,” lamented Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson, who gave up seven runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Morales hit a two-run homer in the third, an RBI single in a five-run fifth, added a three-run drive in the sixth and concluded his big night with a solo shot in the eighth.

“Obviously, that’s what we need after falling behind,” manager John Gibbons said.

It was his second career three-homer game. The first was Sept. 20, 2015, at Detroit.

“It’s difficult to do, so you have to feel good about it,” Morales said through an interpreter. “Plus, we got a win on top of that. So it feels great.”

Adam Jones and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who fell 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the race for the final AL wild card. Coming off three-game sweeps of Boston and Seattle, Baltimore was seeking its first eight-game winning streak in 12 years.

Instead, the Orioles were victimized by a Toronto team that had lost 10 of 12, including four in a row, and had totalled one run in its previous two games.

“We did a lot of good things tonight. We just didn’t pitch well enough to win the game, obviously,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But I’m real proud of the month our guys put together to get back in this.”

Baltimore went 17-12 in August, its first winning month since April. The Orioles hit 57 home runs in the month — a major league record for August, breaking the mark of 55 set by last year’s club.

Marco Estrada (7-8) improved to 6-1 lifetime against Baltimore despite allowing six runs and 10 hits in five ragged innings.

Roberto Osuna retired Jones on a groundout with two runs in, two on and two outs in the eighth. The right-hander also worked the ninth for his 35th save.

Jones hit his 26th home run in the first inning with a man on, and Tim Beckham hit an RBI single in the second for a 3-0 lead.

Morales answered in the third, but Baltimore got a run-scoring groundout from Davis and an RBI single by Mark Trumbo in the bottom half.

The momentum turned in the fifth, when Toronto sent nine batters and used two-run doubles by Miguel Montero and Kevin Pillar to go up 7-5.

Davis hit a solo shot in the bottom half, but Morales expanded the margin to five runs by connecting off Mychal Givens in the sixth and again in the eighth.

“It wasn’t necessarily a pretty thing,” Gibbons said, “but it was a win.”

CALLUPS

Gibbons said Toronto plans to activate C Luke Maile from the 10-day disabled list and add OFs Teoscar Hernandez and Michael Saunders and RHP Carlos Ramirez from Triple-A Syracuse and IF Richard Urena from Double-A New Hampshire when rosters expand Friday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak (sore right calf) was out of the lineup for the second consecutive night. Gibbons was hopeful Smoak would return Friday. Smoak, who is hitting .287 with team highs in home runs (36) and RBIs (84), missed only one of Toronto’s 132 games prior to Wednesday.

Orioles: The team has delayed making a decision about when to activate SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) from the disabled list, though it probably won’t be later than Monday.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Joe Biagini (3-9, 5.40 ERA) starts the second game of the series Friday night. Biagini is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five appearances (one start) against Baltimore this season.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (10-9, 4.98 ERA) makes his fifth start against Toronto this season. Baltimore won each of his previous four starts.

Just Posted

St. Patrick’s school modernization could include asbestos removal

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have told staff, students and parents connected… Continue reading

Campaign renews push to make Bighorn Backcountry a wildland provincial park, ATV groups unhappy

A push to provide provincial protection for the Bighorn Backcountry area has… Continue reading

Providing more services while keeping taxes low is Blackfalds’ dilemma

Town has undergone years of above-average growth

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Flu cases steadily climb in Central Alberta

So far the number of Central Albertans admitted to hospital with the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Update: Innisfail girl found

A 15-year-old missing Innisfail girl has been located safe and sound. Police… Continue reading

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month