Orioles 4 Jays 3
After waiting the entire season to beat the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles didn’t mind at all playing a couple extra innings to make it happen.
Luke Scott singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th, and Baltimore ended a 12-game losing streak against the Blue Jays with a 4-3 victory Monday night.
Brian Roberts homered for the Orioles, now 1-12 against Toronto this season. Those 12 losses came before manager Buck Showalter arrived in Baltimore and rejuvenated a 32-73 team that has gone 24-15 since his debut on Aug. 3.
“It’s no secret, we’ve been playing better baseball since he got the job,” shortstop Cesar Izturis said. “It’s a different ball club. We’ve got more energy right now.”
Nick Markakis led off the 11th with a single off Brian Tallet (2-6). After a groundout by Ty Wigginton advanced Markakis, Scott lined a single to centre that easily brought home the decisive run.
“He made his pitch. It was a cutter that actually ran off the plate,” Scott said. “It worked out good for me because I hit it off the end of the bat and the ball wasn’t able to stay up. It’s a funny game how it works out, but it’s a good win for us.”
Baltimore improved to 12-3 in extra innings this season.
“To our credit, facing adversity we haven’t given up,” Scott said. “We’ve been battling hard for everything that we get. Hopefully that attitude will turn things around for us.”
David Hernandez (7-8) got two outs to earn the victory.
Baltimore won despite going 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranding 15.
The game attracted a meagre crowd of 9,882, in part because it was played while the Baltimore Ravens faced the New York Jets in a televised NFL game. The smallest gathering in the 19-year history of Camden Yards is 9,129.
Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, extending Toronto’s streak of successive games with a home run to 15 — the team’s longest such run since July 2000.
It was the 14th homer of the season for Encarnacion.
, who came off the disabled list Monday after being sidelined with a sprained left wrist.
Orioles starter Brian Matusz pitched only one inning before leaving with a bruise on the back of his upper arm, an injury that occurred when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Yunel Escobar. The rookie had won his previous four starts.
“It’s fine,” Matusz said of the injury. “It’s in a spot that really doesn’t scare me too much.”
Rick VandenHurk came in and retired the first 12 batters before Encarnacion hit a 1-1 pitch into the left-field seats leading off the sixth. VandenHurk allowed one run and two hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Baltimore led 3-1 before the Blue Jays rallied in the eighth. Two singles and a grounder put runners at second and third with two outs for Escobar, who grounded a two-run single up the middle off Jim Johnson.
It would be Toronto’s last hit.
“Our guys battled pretty hard to get back into the game,” Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. “We needed one more run and we didn’t come up with it.”
After Matusz ended his stint by striking out Lyle Overbay with two outs and runners on second and third, Roberts got the Orioles started with his 13th career leadoff homer, a drive to left on a 3-2 pitch from Marc Rzepczynski.
Baltimore made it 2-0 in the second when Adam Jones doubled and scored on a chopper down by the third-base line by Brandon Snyder, the rookie’s first major league hit and RBI.
Rzepczynski gave up two runs and six hits in five innings.
“I threw my breaking ball more in hitters’ counts,” Rzepczynski said. “So, getting back into the counts helped me get outs. I was able to get some ground balls later on in the game.”
Baltimore went up 3-1 in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, Shawn Camp hit Jones with a pitch to force in a run.
NOTES: Roberts was hit by a pitch near his right knee in the eighth inning and replaced in the ninth. … Toronto hired Jay Sartori as assistant general manager Monday. Sartori was most recently director of baseball operations for the Washington Nationals. … VandenHurk’s outing was the longest by an Oriole this season.