Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Joe Saunders' second start as an Oriole went
much better than his first.
Saunders pitched into the seventh inning and the Orioles took the opening game
of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0.
Saunders (1-1), who gave up seven runs -- six earned -- in 5 1/3 innings after
coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks, gave up three hits and two walks in
6 1/3 innings. He did not allow a base runner until surrendering a two-out
single in the sixth inning.
Nick Markakis doubled home a run and scored to send the O's to their eighth
win in their last 10 games.
J.A. Happ (3-2) had a string of three straight winning decisions snapped after
giving up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with nine strikeouts in
Baltimore took the lead in the second inning after Manny Machado lofted a fly
ball down the right-field line. Moises Sierra was unable to make a sliding
catch, allowing the ball to roll to the fence and Machado to reach third.
After the error, Nate McLouth dropped down a bunt to score Machado and gave
the O's an early lead.
The Orioles tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Robert Andino led
off with a base hit and scored when Nick Markakis sliced a double down the
left-field line. J.J. Hardy knocked in Markakis with another double to left,
opening up a three-run advantage.
Adeiny Hechavarria singled in the sixth to finally give the Blue Jays a base
runner but, after reaching second when Rajai Davis walked, he was stranded.
Edwin Encarnacion walked and Adam Lind singled to start the seventh inning.
After Yunel Escobar grounded into a fielder's choice, Kelly Johnson ripped a
single to right to load the bases and chase Saunders from the game.
Luis Ayala came on to strikeout Sierra and got an inning-ending pop up from
Jeff Mathis to escape the jam.
Baltimore capped the scoring in the eighth inning when McLouth was hit by a
pitch, reached second when Andino walked and scored on a Hardy base hit.
Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson retired the Blue Jays in order in the eighth and
ninth innings to wrap up the win.
Baltimore won its 75th game for the first time since 2004 ... The Orioles lead
the season series 8-4 ... After a stretch in which they lost 23 of 25 games at
Rogers Centre, the Orioles have gone 6-8 in their last 14 games in Toronto ...
Baltimore is 22-14 in games started by opposing left-handers ... The O's are
26-13 in day games ... Baltimore is 16 games over .500 for the first time
since the end of the 1997 season ... The Blue Jays have lost 11 of their last
15 games ... Prior to the game, Toronto recalled pitcher Brett Cecil, who gave
one run in two innings, from Triple-A Las Vegas and reinstated pitcher Jeff
Frasor from the 15-day disabled list ... In 49 games since moving to the
leadoff spot, Markakis is hitting .343 with 13 doubles, 31 runs scored and 27
The Sports Network