TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to take small steps in their attempt to get their season back on track.
Picking up back-to-back wins for the first time in five weeks was a good start.
J.A. Happ earned his 100th career victory and the Blue Jays hit three solo homers in a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
“I definitely feel like we have the potential to be a great team,” said Toronto catcher Russell Martin. “We’ve just got to get on a little hot streak and get our swagger back.”
Martin went deep in the second inning, Randal Grichuk homered in the fifth and Kevin Pillar went yard in the eighth as Toronto (28-35) won its second straight game over Baltimore (19-43).
The Blue Jays guaranteed themselves at least a split of the four-game series. It’s the first time Toronto has posted back-to-back victories since Apr. 30-May 1.
Happ (8-3) held the Orioles to a pair of hits and an unearned run over a strong seven-inning performance.
“It’s a cool number, it’s a nice number that I’m proud of,” he said of the milestone win. “I’m going to enjoy it tonight and try to get (No.) 101 the next time.”
Ryan Tepera got the final four outs for his third save.
The Orioles took advantage of a Devon Travis error to get on the board in the second inning. The Toronto second baseman was low with a throw to first on a double-play attempt, allowing Danny Valencia to score.
Happ, who has been the lone rock in the Toronto rotation this season, was in form the rest of the way. He walked a pair and had three strikeouts over a 105-pitch outing.
“He just looks like he’s fearless out there,” Martin said. “He just believes that he can get anybody out and just attacks the zone. He does a good job of moving in and out and up and down.”
Martin got the green light on a 3-0 pitch from Andrew Cashner (2-8) for his sixth homer of the year.
Grichuk, coming off his first three-hit night as a Blue Jay, led off the fifth by taking a 1-1 pitch deep for his fourth home run of the season.
The Orioles fell to 9-25 on the road. Their .265 winning percentage away from home is the worst in the major leagues.
Cashner worked six innings, allowing nine hits, three earned runs and two walks with four strikeouts.
“The last two nights have been tough,” said Orioles right-fielder Craig Gentry. “We’re having a tough time getting run support for (the starters).”
Pillar’s homer was his sixth of the season. Aledmys Diaz chipped in with three hits and Teoscar Hernandez added a triple and a single as Toronto outhit Baltimore 13-5.
Announced attendance was 28,863 and the game took two hours 44 minutes to play.
Notes: It was Blue Jays Pride Night at Rogers Centre. The Forte Gay Men’s Chorus sang the national anthems. … The Blue Jays are expected to provide an update Saturday on the injury status of blue-chip prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The double-A star had his sore left knee examined Friday in Dunedin. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have placed him on the seven-day disabled list… Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.48 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon against fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.63).