Jays stumble into break

Brad Bergesen began the season pitching at the triple-A level for the first time, uncertain if he would receive an invitation to pitch in the major leagues this season.

Baltimore Oriole Gregg Zaun breaks up a double play at second with Toronto Blue Jay shortstop Marco Scutaro Sunday. The Orioles won 4-2.

Orioles 4 Blue Jays 2

BALTIMORE — Brad Bergesen began the season pitching at the triple-A level for the first time, uncertain if he would receive an invitation to pitch in the major leagues this season.

Now, as the Baltimore Orioles enter the all-star break, Bergesen is the most consistent member of their starting rotation. The 23-year-old rookie owns a solid 3.54 ERA, leads the team in innings pitched and is tied for most wins.

Bergesen took a shutout into the seventh inning Sunday, and Baltimore got a home run from Oscar Salazar in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bergesen (6-3) gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA over his past nine starts.

“Bergesen sure had a great first half for us. I think he has established himself as a real nice story in the American League this year as a starting pitcher,” manager Dave Trembley said.

“It seems like every time he pitches he gives us a chance to win, and it was no different today.”

Not bad for a guy who last year split time between class A and double-A ball.

“The first half was such a huge learning experience,” Bergesen said. “I’ll take that as the positives and also reflect on the negatives to know what I need to do in the second half.”

Brian Roberts had two RBIs for the Orioles, who took two of three from Toronto. Baltimore has won six of its last nine series and trails the fourth-place Blue Jays by only three games in the AL East.

Toronto has lost 12-of-15 and went 2-8 on a swing through Yankee Stadium, Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Each of those 10 road games were decided by two runs or fewer.

“It was a terrible road trip for us. We’ve had worse, but this wasn’t too good,” said manager Cito Gaston, who returned to the helm after missing two games to attend the funeral of his sister.

On May 18, Toronto was 27-14 and in first place. Now the Blue Jays are 44-46 and 11 games out.

“Obviously you expect more, and you want more, as a ballclub,” Vernon Wells said. “I think this break comes at a good time. Guys can go home and relax and get away from the game for a couple of days. Hopefully, when we get back to work, we’ll have a better second half.”

Bergesen took a 3-0 lead into the seventh, but was pulled after the Blue Jays used three hits and a sacrifice fly to get within a run.

Danys Baez got the final out in the seventh, Jim Johnson worked the eighth and George Sherrill retired three straight to earn his 20th save.

Bergesen outpitched fellow rookie Marc Rzepczynski (0-1), who allowed three runs and five hits over six innings in his second major league start.

In his first outing, against Tampa Bay, the left-hander allowed one run and two hits in six innings.

“I think I was better last one,” Rzepczynski said. “Today I didn’t have my changeup at all.”

Because Bergesen was so good, Rzepczynski had little margin for error.

After Wells popped out with the bases loaded to end the Toronto third, Baltimore took a 2-0 lead in the bottom half when Roberts doubled in a run and scored on Nick Markakis’ single.

Salazar’s second homer of the season made it 3-0 in the sixth. Rzepczynski has surrendered only two homers in 100 innings this year, including his time in the minor leagues.

“One bad pitch, one bad slider to Salazar, and he took it out,” Rzepczynski said.

The Blue Jays got an RBI double from David Dellucci and a sacrifice fly by Marco Scutaro in the seventh. In the bottom half, Roberts singled in an unearned run after a throwing error by Scutaro at shortstop.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

Eckville man charged with child porn offences

Australian police provide tip

Eight arrested in RCMP stolen vehicle operation

Six stolen vehicles recovered and dozens of charges laid

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Toronto illustrator teams up with Paul McCartney on children’s book

Toronto-based illustrator Kathryn Durst says she’s found a true collaborator in Paul… Continue reading

Catholic student says he didn’t disrespect Native American

Many saw the white teenagers, who had travelled to Washington for an anti-abortion rally, appearing to mock the Native Americans

Backlund scores OT winner for Calgary Flames in 3-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Flames 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT) CALGARY — Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds… Continue reading

Glendening’s two-goal performance leads Red Wings past Oilers 3-2

Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 EDMONTON — Luke Glendening had a pair… Continue reading

Most Read