Orioles' 4-1 win extends Toronto's losing skid to seven games
Jeremy Guthrie's pitch count had soared past 100, and the Toronto Blue Jays had the tying run at second base in the seventh inning when a driving rain got even worse.
BALTIMORE - Jeremy Guthrie's pitch count had soared past 100, and the Toronto Blue Jays had the tying run at second base in the seventh inning when a driving rain got even worse.
Guthrie managed to put the wet baseball where he wanted, and the Baltimore Orioles escaped with a 4-1 victory Monday that extended the Blue Jays' losing streak to seven.
Guthrie (4-4) allowed one run, seven hits and a walk over seven innings. The right-hander had lost four of his previous five decisions, but in this one his control was exceptionally sharp - even after the conditions became dismal.
Vernon Wells had the lone RBI for the Blue Jays, who lost three in Boston and three more in Atlanta before coming to Camden Yards. The seven-game skid is Toronto's longest since last June.
"You've just have to keep playing," manager Cito Gaston said. "You never know, in this game, what's going to happen. You win four in a row and then you lose seven in a row. All you can do is show up and play and hope that you get out of it."
Offence remains the Blue Jays' chief problem and they squandered several chances to alter the game's course.
With Baltimore nursing a 2-1 lead and the rain pouring, Lyle Overbay led off the seventh with a single and Rod Barajas struck out before Jose Bautista walked. After a visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz, Guthrie struck out Marco Scutaro on a 3-2 pitch and finished his performance by inducing Aaron Hill to hit into a fielder's choice.
"I don't know how he did it. He sure came up with some big pitches," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Added Guthrie: "It was a real tough little situation there. I could not feel the ball very well. To get that big (strikeout) there and Aaron Hill just missed that pitch enough to get that groundball, that was huge."
Former Oriole B.J. Ryan then gave up two runs in the bottom half to put Toronto in a 4-1 hole.
After a drying agent was applied to the soggy infield, Cesar Izturis slapped a grounder to third that dropped out of Scott Rolen's glove. Brian Roberts followed with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Aubrey Huff.
That assured the Orioles their fourth win in 15 games against Toronto since June 7, 2008.
"Toronto has given us some hard times in the last couple years, and certainly they are playing good baseball this year," Roberts said. "So for us to beat a good team in our own division, yeah, I think that is something we can build on a little bit."
Danys Baez worked the eighth and George Sherrill got three outs for his 10th save. Sherrill has not allowed a run in nine appearances since May 2 in Toronto.
Brian Tallet (2-3) gave up two runs and seven hits over six innings. The left-hander has a 2.81 ERA over his last five starts, yet is 1-2 over that span. He allowed two runs in six innings against Boston in his previous start, but Toronto lost 2-1 to start its current slide.
"We're going through a tough time," Tallet said. "I started this skid in Boston and I was trying to do everything I could to stop it. I just wasn't able to today."
Toronto got a first-inning run when Scutaro led off with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Wells. That, however, would be the extent of the Blue Jays' offence.
In the bottom half, Roberts led off with a double and came home on a double-play grounder. The Orioles went up 2-1 in the fourth when Huff doubled and scored on a single by Gregg Zaun.
"I left a pitch that Zauney could handle and he hit a single," Tallet said. "That was the difference in the game, believe it or not."
Roberts was spiked in the second inning but stuck around until crossing the plate in the seventh. He left with a bruised left shin and was limping afterward in the clubhouse.
"It got stiff and sore as the game moved on. When you're running you don't really think about it," he said. "When I stopped is when it hurt."
Notes: Orioles LF Lou Montanez will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. He will be placed on the disabled list, and Baltimore is expected to recall RHP Jason Berken from triple-A Norfolk to start Tuesday. ... Toronto has gone six straight games without a home run.