Sloppy play burns Jays in Baltimore

Toronto Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles. (REUTERS/Joe Giza)

Toronto Blue Jays' Brandon Morrow delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles. (REUTERS/Joe Giza)

Ken Fidlin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:34 PM ET

From the start, it was clear Brandon Morrow wasn’t going to need very much help on this hot, humid evening.

The Blue Jay righthander had it all going and the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t do anything about it.

But then there came a moment when Morrow needed one play, one bit of help to erase a mistake of his own, and Yunel Escobar, in a rare moment of clumsiness, couldn’t deliver it.

That was the difference as Baltimore scored four times in the sixth inning and made those runs stand up in a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

“I don’t have a whole lot to say,” said Morrow. “All things aside, I thought I threw the ball great. I missed my spot on possibly three pitches all night, two of them in a row to Adam Jones and he capitalized on that.”

Through five innings, it was difficult not to think back a year, minus two days, to August 8 2010 when Morrow electrified the Roger Centre, taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against Tampa Bay. That day, he gave up a hit to Evan Longoria but got the win on a one-hitter, striking out 17 in the process.

“I had a bunch more strikeouts in that one,” said Morrow. “But as far as dominating the game, at least for the first five, yeah, I’d say it was pretty comparable but the end results weren’t the same.”

Saturday, after sitting out a 71-minute rain delay, Morrow erased the first 15 men he faced, needing just 56 pitches - 44 strikes - to do it. During those first five innings, the Orioles had nothing even close to a base hit.

“I was placing the ball wherever I wanted it, from 95 almost up to 100 mph. I was feeling good and I had a good slider,” said Morrow. “I kept getting ahead and got some quick outs, had a good pitch count. Everything was in my favour.”

Meanwhile, the Jays were having troubles enough with Chris Tillman who had only given up two hits through five. One of them, however was a Colby Rasmus home run. The Jays would score one, but only one in the top of the sixth, despite loading the bases with nobody out.

With two outs in the second, Rasmus looked at a ball, then hammered the next pitch on a high arc into the seats in right-centre for his first home run as a Blue Jay and 13th on the season, 12 in the National League.

The Jays loaded the bases in the sixth on a Jose Molina walk, a Brett Lawrie single and a hit-by-pitch to Escobar. Eric Thames hit a fly ball to right, but not quite deep enough to get the slow-footed Molina home. Jose Bautista then hit another fly, this one to centre. Molina tagged up and Adam Jones’s throw beat him to the plate but catcher Matt Wieters could not corral it to make the score 2-0.

Nolan Reimold led off the sixth for Baltimore with a single, lined sharply over the leaping Aaron Hill’s glove, to become Baltimore’s first baserunner of the game. One out later Blake Davis singled into right field, putting runners at first and third for Robert Andino.

He hit a slow bouncer to Escobar, who whiffed on it. Maybe it was a double-play ball, maybe not, but it opened up the floodgates, scoring the Orioles’ first run.

“He was anticipating the higher hop and when it hit the surface the way it is with the steady rain all night, it stayed down and then went off the webbing of the glove instead of in the pocket,” explained manager John Farrell.

“That’s not to make an excuse, that’s a very catchable ball but it ends up being an error and extended the inning.”

More importantly, it left runners at first and second. Morrow got Nick Markakis on a pop-up and then Adam Jones took an outside pitch out of the yard in right to give Baltimore a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, more sloppiness led to two more runs by Baltimore as Josh Bell was allowed to score from third when Hill and Escobar could not corral a throw from Rasmus in centre.


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