BALTIMORE — In a season marked by inconsistent performances and injuries, the Toronto Blue Jays could always count on Mark Buehrle to take the mound when it was his turn to start.
Buehrle’s 33rd and final outing of 2013 ended abruptly Thursday night when he was struck by a line drive, and the left-hander took the loss in Baltimore’s 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The injury wasn’t serious, and Buehrle fully intends to add to his impressive run of 429 consecutive starts without going to the disabled list when he returns next April.
Buehrle (12-10) left with a bruised right calf after he got in the way of a line drive off the bat of Steve Pearce. Buehrle wanted to continue, but manager John Gibbons figured the pitcher had done enough this season, his 13th straight with more than 200 innings.
“I said, ’Hey at least let me finish the inning,”’ Buehrle said. “He pretty much didn’t even listen to me. He said ’You’re done. Good year. Get out of here.”’
Buehrle allowed three runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, his shortest outing since Sept. 4, 2011, against Detroit.
Asked how he felt, Buehrle replied, “Good. Got six months to recover so it doesn’t really matter.”
Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Matt Wieters homered and drove in two runs for the Orioles, who won the season series 10-9. Baltimore is 13-5 at Camden Yards against the Blue Jays since the start of the 2012 season.
Gonzalez (11-8) allowed one unearned run, struck out five and walked one. The only hits were a single by Kevin Pillar in the third inning and a double by J.P. Arencibia in the seventh.
Gonzalez retired 13 straight batters at one point. It was the first game this season in which the right-hander didn’t give up a run.
His effort almost went for naught. Tommy Hunter took over in the eighth and yielded two singles before Brett Lawrie snapped an 0-for-18 skid with an RBI double. Hunter then struck out Moises Sierra and Anthony Gose with runners on second and third.
“We had a shot,” Gibbons said. “If we get a little contact there, they’re playing the infield back and that gives us that run. At least we tie it anyway. But that didn’t happen.”
Jim Johnson got three outs for his AL-leading 48th save.
The Blue Jays turned three double plays and Chad Jenkins allowed just one hit in 3 1-3 innings of relief. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Toronto from absorbing its sixth loss in nine games.
Jenkins’ outing was the highlight of the night for Toronto.
“Jenkins came in and looked great again,” Gibbons said. “He’s done a nice job this year, he really has.”
Toronto got a first-inning run without benefit of a hit. Munenori Kawasaki walked and hustled around the bases to score from first on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Jason Pridie.
Wieters tied it in the second, hitting a curveball into the seats in left field for his 22nd home run.
In the Baltimore third, Brian Roberts singled and scored on a double by Nick Markakis, who moved up on an infield hit and came home on a fly ball by Wieters.