Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hits a single scoring two RBI's against the Toronto Blue Jays during seventh inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hits a single scoring two RBI's against the Toronto Blue Jays during seventh inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday

Orioles attack Blue Jays’ bullpen to get win

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen has struggled mightily over the last week. There was a massive meltdown in Minnesota on April 17 and another blown opportunity a few days later in Cleveland. The Toronto relievers took it on the chin again Thursday as the Baltimore Orioles turned a close game into an 11-4 rout at Rogers Centre.

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen has struggled mightily over the last week.

There was a massive meltdown in Minnesota on April 17 and another blown opportunity a few days later in Cleveland. The Toronto relievers took it on the chin again Thursday as the Baltimore Orioles turned a close game into an 11-4 rout at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays wasted a quality six-inning effort by Drew Hutchison and fell back to the .500 mark by losing the rubber game of three-game series. Baltimore scored five runs in the seventh inning and added four more in the eighth for the blowout win.

“There’s going to be some blips every now and then,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons. “I still think our bullpen stacks up as good as anybody out there.”

Several relievers had blips on this night.

Neil Wagner lasted just one out before being pulled. Brett Cecil (0-1) didn’t even manage an out, allowing four earned runs, two walks and two hits. Esmil Rogers worked the rest of the seventh inning and pitched the eighth, giving up three earned runs and five hits.

“It’s only April, you’re not going to be perfect every time,” Cecil said. “I didn’t feel like I had a good feel for anything. I was pulling my cutters, my curveballs were up and not as sharp.”

Jonathan Schoop homered and David Lough had three of the Orioles’ 14 hits. Bud Norris (1-2) allowed five hits, three earned runs and a walk over six innings for Baltimore (11-10).

Nelson Cruz scored twice and drove in two runs while Chris Davis and Adam Jones had three RBIs apiece.

“We know these guys are going to score runs whether it’s early or late,” Norris said.

Toronto (11-11) did most of its damage in the second inning. Dioner Navarro put the Blue Jays on the board with a solo shot for his first homer of the season. Juan Francisco followed with a single and scored when Colby Rasmus belted a two-run blast.

Baltimore had some chances early on but Hutchison was locating his fastball on both sides of the plate to keep the Orioles at bay. The 23-year-old right-hander had nine strikeouts for the second straight game.

“I don’t go out there trying to strike people out, I go out there trying to command the ball and attack the strike zone,” Hutchison said. “And when you get ahead of guys, you put them away. That’s all that is.”

The Orioles finally got to Hutchison in the fifth when Schoop opened the frame with a solo homer. Lough reached on a walk, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a Davis single.

Hutchison struck out Jones to get out of the frame with the lead intact.

“Hutch gave us that big start we were looking for, we just couldn’t take advantage of it,” Gibbons said. “Then the game got away late there.”

The Toronto bullpen also struggled in a 10-8 loss to the Orioles a night earlier. It was the first time Baltimore has scored 10 runs or more in back-to-back games since August 2008.

“We can string some hits together and get the home run any time,” Jones said. “Our lineup is scary and it’s fun to see it click the last couple of nights.”

Norris settled down after his rough second inning. He faced the minimum 11 batters until hitting Encarnacion with a pitch in the sixth inning.

After the game, Gibbons said he wasn’t worried about his bullpen, which had a strong season last year before fading late in the campaign.

This season’s low point came in a 9-5 loss to the Twins a week earlier. In that game, Minnesota scored three straight runs on wild pitches by Toronto’s Sergio Santos and the bullpen issued a team-record eight walks in one inning.

The struggles continued against the Orioles and things don’t get easier with the reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox in town for a weekend series.

“It’s still a good bullpen,” Gibbons said. “(The Orioles) found a couple holes, but they kept the pressure on us all night.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dentists are skills at injections and can help get more Albertans vaccinated, says the Alberta Dental Association and College. (Pxhere)
Use dentists’ injection skills to get more Albertans vaccinated sooner, says association

Dentists can safely give patient injections and want to support the immunization effort

An aggressive arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Second video shows moments leading up to violent arrest in Red Deer

Charges are pending against two people who appeared in a viral video… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian on Feb. 27. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

Collision occured west of Rocky on Highway 11A

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

March will be dramatically warmer through the prairies

Bharat Masrani, CEO, TD Bank Group speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Shares in metals and mining companies have rebounded sharply

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson makes a shot against Team Alberta as second Shannon Birchard, right, and lead Briane Meilleur sweep in the semi-final at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Kerri Einarson wins second straight Canadian women’s curling championship

Einarson and her teammates celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the Golden Globes on Feb. 28, 2021. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
With loved ones and pets, Globes winners embrace cozier show

Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Schitt’s Creek nabs two Golden Globes for its final season

Catherine O’Hara named best television actress in a musical or comedy

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

Most Read