Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5
One thing that doesn't get lost in translation with Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki is his joy for baseball.
Called up from Triple-A Buffalo in April after All-Star Jose Reyes severely sprained his left ankle, Kawasaki has won over Blue Jays fans and players with his energetic play, upbeat personality and his custom of bowing to teammates after big plays.
''When Reyes went down we were scrambling,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''We didn't know what we were going to do. We knew very little about (Kawasaki) but he's come up here and done a tremendous job for us. He's played just a good brand of baseball.
''I don't know where we'd be without him,'' Gibbons said.
Reading from a Japanese-to-English phrasebook, Kawasaki greeted the media after his big hit with a trio of increasingly nonsensical remarks.
''I did it,'' he said. ''Give me a hug. It was boring.''
Boring? Not a chance.
Trailing 5-2 to begin the ninth against Orioles closer Jim Johnson (2-5), the Blue Jays got a leadoff double from Edwin Encarnacion, a single from Adam Lind and an RBI single by J.P. Arencibia.
Brett Lawrie flied out and Anthony Gose walked to load the bases for Mark DeRosa, who made it 5-4 with a fielder's choice.
That brought up Kawasaki, who lined a double up the alley in left-center. Arencibia scored from third and DeRosa raced around from first with the winning run.
''He hit it in the perfect spot,'' Gibbons said. ''Especially with DeRosa running, he definitely hit it in the perfect spot.''
Kawasaki tossed his helmet in the air in as he rounded second base and was mobbed by his teammates as DeRosa slid home without a throw.
''That was awesome,'' said Blue Jays starter Chad Jenkins. ''Very exciting. Couldn't have happened to a better person. Kawasaki is a great guy. Just awesome that he was the one that knocked in the winning run.''
The blown save was Johnson's fourth of the season and fourth in five chances.
''He made a lot of good pitches,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''He just kind of painted himself in a corner there and we just couldn't get it done.''
Steve Delabar (4-1) got the win despite allowing Matt Wieters' two-run double in the ninth.
Lawrie appeared angry at third base coach Luis Rivera for not telling Lind to tag up after his ninth-inning fly ball. Lawrie later exchanged words with Gibbons in the dugout.
''He got a little heated, I got a little heated,'' Gibbons said. ''That's over. It's no big deal, those things happen.''
Baltimore's Adam Jones homered for the fourth consecutive game and Wieters had four hits and three RBIs for the Orioles.
''It's a tough loss,'' Wieters said.
Jones hit a one-out solo homer to left off Aaron Loup in the seventh inning, his 10th. The home run was his ninth at Rogers Centre since the start of the 2012 season, the most by any opposing player.
Jones has hit safely in 16 straight games against Toronto, dating to Aug. 24, 2012. His four-game homer streak is the longest of his career. He's had three-game streaks three times.
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out a season-high seven. The right-hander, who landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a blister on his thumb, had not won since beating the Blue Jays in Baltimore on April 23.
Nick Markakis was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Jones' double to left field in the first, with shortstop Kawasaki making the relay throw to the plate.
The Orioles took the lead in the second against Jenkins. Chris Davis led off with a double, went to third on J.J. Hardy's single and scored when Wieters doubled to left. One batter later, Hardy scored on Danny Valencia's groundout.
The Blue Jays cut the deficit in half in the fourth when Lind scored on Lawrie's sacrifice fly.
Starting for the second time this season, Jenkins allowed two runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked three, two intentional, and struck out two.
''He kept us in the game, got some big outs in a couple of situations where the game could have got out of hand,'' Gibbons said.
Baltimore loaded the bases against Thad Weber in the sixth but Manny Machado grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Kawasaki made it 3-2 in the eighth with a bases loaded single that ticked off the glove of leaping second baseman Alexi Casilla. Hunter limited the damage by getting Cabrera to ground into a fielder's choice, with Lawrie thrown out at the plate, then bare-handing Bautista's one-hopper back to the mound to end the threat.
X-rays on Hunter's hand were negative but he'll be checked out again before Monday's game at Washington.
''Hopefully the swelling goes down and stays down,'' Hunter said. ''I think I'll be all right.''
NOTES: Davis was intentionally walked three times. ... Arencibia drew a one-out walk in the sixth, his third of the season and first since April 22. ... Orioles manager Buck Showalter said pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who was shut down last month because of elbow and forearm soreness, is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews and could begin a throwing program June 10.