Written by Chris Slade
Bud Norris and Drew Hutchison were on the mound tonight as the game got under way at 7:05 ET. The Blue Jays continued their home run barrage against the O's itching staff early with a solo home run by Dioner Navarro followed by a two-run bomb by Colby Rasmus in the 3rd inning. As Norris settled in, the Orioles were able to cut the lead to one on a Jonathan Schoop solo homer and Chris Davis RBI single in the 5th. Once, Hutchison was gone, the O's bats wreaked havoc on the Blue Jays bullpen with a four-run 7th inning and a four-run 8th inning to run away with the game late.
Bud Norris gave the Orioles a quality start tonight despite a rough third inning. He has his troubles with left handed hitters and sure enough Dioner Navarro and Colby Rasmus are two lefties that put out home runs on Norris tonight. Aside from that inning, Norris showed above average command of his fastball-slider combo and kept the Blue Jays hit off balance. He left the game with just 86 pitches after the 6th, a sign that he was very efficient tonight even with the blemishes in the third inning. Norris picked up his first win of the year.
Final Line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K, Win
Zach Britton took over in the 7th inning and induced three consecutive groundball outs in the 7th. He recorded two outs in the 8th but allowed a single to Jonathan Diaz.
Josh Stinson was brought on with two outs and Jose Bautista promptly singled in a run and Edwin Encarnacion walked before Stinson struck out Navarro to end the inning. Stinson worked a scorless 9th to finish off the win.
Let's hear it for the bats! They put up their second straight double digit run game and made a mokery of the Blue Jays bullpen after Drew Hutchison held them in check over 6 innings.
Breakdown of the 7th: David Lough hit a one out double and Nick Markakis followed up with a walk. After those two pulled off the double steal, Brett Cecil intentionally walked Nelson Cruz. Chirs Davis made him pay by lining a single into left field, scoring two, and Adam Jones followed up with a two-run double in the left-center gap to drive in Cruz and Davis.
Breakdown of 8th: Jonathan Schoop was hit by a pitch and Lough recorded his third hit of the night with a bunt single. After Markakis singled to load the bases, Big Nelly came through with the bases loaded again with an two-run single. Jones drove in two more on a two-run single.
Chris Davis and Adam Jones each finshed 2-for-5 with 3 RBI. Matt Wieters and Nelson Cruz also had two-hit games and both drove in a pair.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
In addition to a great ngiht at the plate, David Lough had a great night in the field. He ran down a ball that off Jose Bautista's bat, looked a potential home run. He also gunned down Melky Cabrera at home in the bottom of the 1st.
Other Notes/ Musings
Josh Stinson continues to look ineffective out of the bullpen and you have to wonder if he's the odd man out when the Orioles go back down to 12 pitchers.
Nelson Cruz now has a 7-game RBI streak and has raised his average to .312
Matt Wieters continues to smoke the ball with a team leading .348 average and it appears he has made some overdue adjustments as a left handed batter. Might have to do a writeup on that and whether his improvements are legitimate going forward.
O's head home tomorrow to face the Royals and in case you're not aware it's...ORIOLES HANGOUT NIGHT!
Ubaldo Jiminez (0-3, 6.75 ERA) and flamethrowing Royals righty Yordano Ventura (1-1, 2.65 ERA) are the scheduled starters.
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