Blue Jays 8, Orioles 4
For J.P. Arencibia, Toronto’s convincing win over a divisional
foe meant significantly more than his first career grand slam.
Arencibia cleared the bases with his ninth homer of the season,
Rajai Davis had three hits and the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore
Orioles 8-4 on Friday night to end a two-game losing streak.
”It’s one of those things you don’t really think about,”
Arencibia said. ”I don’t remember the last time I hit a grand slam
in baseball. It was just one of those things. If I say I was trying
to hit a grand slam, I’d be a liar. I just hit the ball and it was
able to go out and we had three guys on base. The biggest thing, I
think, was it gave our pitcher a cushion and he can pitch with that
The slam was more than enough for Carlos Villanueva (3-0), who
allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings, walking one. He is
2-0 in three starts since moving into the Toronto rotation from the
”It’s very fine because we got the win, but still I’m a little
upset that I haven’t been able to go deeper in games. … I didn’t
want to come out, but I understand, and we had a very comfortable
lead at that point,” Villanueva said.
Arencibia’s fifth-inning slam gave the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead
against Orioles rookie Zach Britton, who has lost three straight
decisions after starting the season 5-1.
”You’re never scared of losing, but obviously we had lost two
straight and you want to stay close in this division,” Arencibia
Even though Arencibia is batting only .255, the rookie catcher
has 30 RBIs, among the most by a first-year player in the AL.
Nineteen of his 41 hits have gone for extra bases.
”He’s been extremely productive against left-handers and that
was the case again tonight,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said
of Arencibia. ”He’s done an excellent job at the plate and behind
the plate, and tonight he had a very good game all-around.”
Toronto has won 21 of 27 games against the Orioles and is 16-3
in its last 19.
J.J. Hardy homered for Baltimore, which has dropped six of seven
games to fall five games below .500, matching a season high.
Britton (5-4) allowed seven runs – five earned – and six hits
over five innings, his shortest outing.
”I don’t think I did a good job out there,” Britton said.
”Falling behind too many hitters. Watch on video and the hits I
gave up were all balls out over the plate (and) up. That’s what a
good-hitting team does – they hit those pitches. … The last two
outings I haven’t executed well and those are the results.”
Five of Toronto’s runs came with two outs, a trend Orioles
manager Buck Showalter wants to see corrected.
”It’s something they’re aware of and we’re aware of,”
Showalter said. ”It’s not that they’re backing off with two outs.
It’s just that we can’t seem to make that putaway pitch, a lot of
those with two strikes. We haven’t done a good job of using those
counts to our favor.”
Two miscues by the Orioles helped Toronto to a 2-0 lead in the
second. After Juan Rivera’s leadoff single, Arencibia reached on an
error by third baseman Mark Reynolds. Aaron Hill singled in a run
and Edwin Encarnacion grounded into a double play before Britton’s
wild pitch plated Arencibia.
In the third, Yunel Escobar led off with a double, went to third
on Corey Patterson’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Rivera’s
Arencibia’s slam broke the game open in the fifth. The Blue Jays
loaded the bases on a walk to Escobar, a single by Jose Bautista
and a walk to Rivera before Arencibia ripped Britton’s 2-2 fastball
into the seats in left.
Villanueva didn’t allow a hit until Hardy led off the fifth with
a single to center, the first of four Baltimore hits in the inning.
Hardy later scored on Robert Andino’s two-out liner to left and a
single by Adam Jones to make it 7-2.
Escobar’s broken-bat single in the sixth scored Davis, who had
doubled with one out and stole third base.
Hardy hit a two-run homer off Jason Frasor in the eighth.
NOTES: After the game, the Blue Jays activated OF Adam Lind
(lower back strain) from the 15-day DL and optioned IF Eric Thames
to Triple-A Las Vegas. Farrell said Lind would serve as the
designated hitter Saturday. … Bautista walked twice, once
intentionally, and leads the AL with 49. He has reached base safely
in 46 of 49 games this season. … Friday night marked the first
meeting of the season between the AL East rivals. … Toronto is
14-14 on the road. … In 12 games since being activated from the
DL on May 16, Toronto 2B Jayson Nix is 5 for 32. He went 0 for 4
Friday night. … Orioles 1B Derrek Lee, sidelined since May 15
with a strained left oblique, began an injury rehabilitation
assignment with Double-A Bowie on Friday, going 2 for 3 with a walk
as the DH.