Blue Jays 8, Orioles 6
Brett Lawrie has been in the majors for a month, and the Baltimore Orioles already have seen enough of the kid from Canada.
Lawrie made his debut at Camden Yards on Aug. 5. Since that time, he leads all rookies in homers (seven), triples (four) and extra-base hits (17).
''Lawrie continues to play and swing the bat as good as you can expect,'' acting manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Given his .340 batting average, it's safe to say Lawrie has exceeded expectations.
''No doubt,'' Wakamatsu said. ''You can't sell him short.''
Especially when facing Baltimore. Lawrie is batting .417 in six games against the Orioles, all at Camden Yards. In addition, three of his seven homers and eight of his 20 RBIs have come in Baltimore.
''It's a home away from home. It's where it all started,'' Lawrie said. ''We'll be back here some day.''
It will be too soon for the Orioles.
''He's a big ol' boy,'' Baltimore's Nick Markakis said. ''He can swing the stick, no question about that. Their whole team can swing.''
Kelly Johnson also homered for the Blue Jays, who had 26 runs and 42 hits in taking two of three at Camden Yards.
Orioles starter Tommy Hunter allowed six runs, five earned, in six innings.
Manager Buck Showalter said the right-hander began feeling ill in the third inning and felt even worse after his performance.
''He was throwing up. He's heading to the hospital,'' Showalter said. ''I'm not going to try to say what it is or what it isn't, but he won't make the trip (to Tampa Bay) with us right now.''
With the score 6-all, Johnson drew a walk from Willie Eyre (1-1) and Lawrie followed with his seventh home run. Lawrie went 3 for 5 and scored twice.
Escobar was 4 for 5 with two RBIs. The four hits matched a career high.
Vladimir Guerrero and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, who rallied from a 6-3 deficit before giving the lead back in the eighth. Guerrero had three hits, a season-high four RBIs and scored twice.
But Markakis' streak of 182 consecutive series with at least one hit ended. It's the first time he went hitless in a series since May 23-25, 2008, in Tampa Bay.
The defeat assured Baltimore (54-81) of a 14th straight non-winning season.
The game was switched from 7:05 p.m. to 12:35 so the city could finalize plans for the first Baltimore Grand Prix. The change, combined with the lackluster matchup between the two bottom teams in the AL East, resulted in a meager crowd of 11,617.
Toronto played a seventh straight game without manager John Farrell, who is recovering from pneumonia and won't be with the Jays at Yankee Stadium this weekend. Wakamatsu, Toronto's bench coach, is running the team in his place.
The Orioles used successive doubles by Guerrero and Wieters to take a 1-0 lead in the second.
Toronto responded with a two-run third that began with Hunter walking No. 9 hitter Mike McCoy, who took third on a double by Escobar. Eric Thames followed with a run-scoring groundout and Jose Bautista hit an RBI single.
The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fourth. After Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia hit consecutive doubles, Escobar singled in a run.
Guerrero and Wieters connected in succession in the bottom half, both on 3-2 pitches. It was the fourth time this season that Baltimore hit back-to-back home runs.
Johnson led off the sixth with his 20th homer of the season and second in two games. He went 3 for 4 and is 9 for 17 in his last four games.
Baltimore closed to 6-5 in the bottom half when starter Luis Perez walked the first two batters and Guerrero hit a two-run double. The Orioles then put runners at second and third with one out before Jesse Litsch retired the side.
Guerrero drove in another run in the seventh with a slow roller to shortstop with one out and the bases loaded.
NOTES: The Blue Jays activated Rauch (appendicitis) from the 15-day DL. ... The Orioles purchased the contracts of RHP Rick VandenHurk and OF Kyle Hudson from Triple-A Norfolk. ... The Blue Jays open a three-game series in New York on Friday. Toronto will start Brandon Morrow, who is averaging a major league-best 10.35 strikeouts per nine innings. ... Baltimore rookie Zach Britton will start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay.