Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez reacts on the mound after giving up a two-run homerun to Baltimore Orioles’ J.J. Hardy in the fifth inning of their AL baseball game in Toronto on Friday April 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Orioles power past Blue Jays

Orioles 6 Blue Jays 4

TORONTO — The Orioles hit four homers, including three off starter Aaron Sanchez, earning their fourth win over the Blue Jays in as many meetings with a 6-4 victory Friday night at Rogers Centre.

In taking advantage of a spiraling Blue Jays team off to its worst start in club history (1-9), the win was the Orioles’ third straight overall and kept them in first place in the American League East.

Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis and Seth Smith all homered for the Orioles (7-2). Left-hander Wade Miley (1-0) won his first decision of the year.

Friday night’s power display gave the Orioles nine homers in their past three games.

Hardy’s two-run blast in a three-run fifth was his first of the season and gave the Orioles the lead for good after they trailed 3-1. Schoop hit his second homer in his past three games earlier in the inning — an estimated 419-foot shot to center field — and Davis smoked his third homer of the season to center field with a solo shot in the sixth.

Smith added insurance with a solo homer in the ninth off right-hander Jason Grilli for his second home run of the season.

The Orioles scored their first run in the second inning when Davis scored on a wild pitch from Sanchez. Davis reached on a leadoff double and moved to third on a groundout by Schoop.

Sanchez was 4-0 in five starts against the Orioles last season, and entered the night undefeated against them at Rogers Centre.

Despite allowing a run in the ninth, closer Zach Britton converted his 54th straight save opportunity, which tied him with Tom Gordon for the second-longest consecutive saves streak in baseball history. Only Eric Gagne, who converted 84 straight chances, has more.

After stranding the winning run at second base in the ninth Thursday, the winning run came to the plate with two outs in the ninth Friday. And just like he did Thursday, Britton retired former Oriole Steve Pearce to end the game, this time striking him out to end the threat.

Before that, Britton allowed a run on Devon Travis’ two-out RBI single, the first time a run had been scored against the Orioles closer since last Aug. 24, ending a string of 18 straight scoreless outings.

Making his second start of the season, Miley had his first quality start while earning his first victory of the season, holding the struggling Blue Jays to three runs on five hits over six innings.

Coming off a season debut in which he walked seven batters in five innings, Miley displayed improved control Friday, striking out eight Toronto batters without issuing a walk.

Miley took control from the start, striking out the side in the first inning, all swinging and all on different pitches.

Justin Smoak drove in two of the Blue Jays’ three runs against Miley with an RBI single in the second and a solo homer in the fourth. The only other Toronto run off Miley was scored on Manny Machado’s fielding error in the second.

Miley faced the minimum number of batters in his final two innings, ending his outing with a strikeout of Russell Martin looking on his 101st pitch.


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