Jays’ newbies step up against O’s
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|Baltimore Orioles base runner Vladimir Guerrero, right, slides across home plate safely as Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia reaches for the late throw in the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland August 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Joe Giza)
BALTIMORE - The Blue Jays welcomed Brett Lawrie to the fold Friday and he contributed his first two hits and an RBI to the cause in a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Jays tagged a trio of Oriole pitchers for 11 hits -- 10 singles and a double -- while Brad Mills and four relievers combined to limit Baltimore to seven hits. For Mills it was his first win of the season.
“It was great to see Brett step in and contribute,” said manager John Farrell. “He didn’t expand the strike zone and when he got a pitch to hit, he hit it hard. If there weren’t nerves there tonight, he wouldn’t be human.”
Yunel Escobar, Colby Rasmus and Lawrie all had two hits for the Jays while Aaron Hill drove in a pair of runs. Rasmus left the game with a small cut on the middle finger of his throwing hand after he was called out on a play at the plate in the top of the eighth inning. He is expected back in the lineup on Saturday.
The Orioles jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on an Adam Jones’ two-run homer.
Lawrie’s first major-league hit, a single up the middle, drove in Edwin Encarnacion from second with two out in the second inning. Escobar’s double later scored Aaron Hill from third to tie the game.
Jays added two more in the third on Colby Rasmus’s RBI single and a fielder’s choice groundball that scored Encarnacion.
After scoring in the sixth, the Orioles threatened in the seventh, in an inning that saw Farrell tossed after arguing that Robert Andino should have been called out for running out of the base line.
Jays scored in the eighth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Aaron Hill and almost had another on Lawrie’s second hit of the game that saw Rasmus thrown out at the plate trying to score from second.
The O’s rallied for a run against closer Jon Rauch in the ninth but he stranded the tying run at second, getting Jones to pop out to end it.