Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3

After the Baltimore Orioles struck early against R.A. Dickey,

the Toronto Blue Jays spent the rest of the night trying to

overcome the deficit.

Once the game reached the eighth inning, Toronto’s chances of

completing the comeback were all but gone.

Manny Machado had two hits and two RBIs, and Baltimore squeezed

out a 4-3 victory Tuesday night with significant help from its

trusty bullpen.

It was the 100th consecutive game the Orioles have won when

leading after seven innings, a streak that began in August

2011.

”Obviously, it means that guys are throwing the ball well in

the bullpen, getting put in good opportunities and doing what

they’re supposed to do,” said closer Jim Johnson, who worked the

ninth to earn his eighth save in eight tries.

”Our bullpen hasn’t failed us yet, knock on wood,” Machado

said. ”They do a good job in holding the lead. Once the ninth

inning comes, Jimmy comes out, and you know it’s lights out because

you know he’s going to shut the door for us.”

Miguel Gonzalez (2-1) allowed three runs in six innings for the

Orioles, who have won nine of 13. By taking the first two games of

the three-game set, Baltimore improved to 5-2 in seven series this

season – including 4-1 against the AL East.

”We know who we have to beat,” Johnson said.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer for the last-place Blue

Jays, who have dropped six of eight. Dickey yielded four runs in

the second inning, and Toronto never got out of the hole.

”We had some chances late. We just couldn’t get that big hit,”

manager John Gibbons said. ”Dickey battled all night long. You

wish you could take away that one inning, but you can’t in this

business.”

Dickey (2-3) gave up four runs, six hits and five walks in six

innings. The knuckleballer, who left his previous start with neck

and back pain, did not appear to be in discomfort on the mound. But

he sure looked uncomfortable during the four-run second.

”I’m definitely not 100 percent,” Dickey said. ”I’m giving

everything I can possibly give but it feels like going to battle

with a three-shooter instead of a six-shooter. You just don’t have

what you normally have. You feel like what you have is good enough

to keep your team in it. But it’s frustrating because you want to

give more.”

Dickey was outdone by Gonzalez, who allowed five hits and three

walks. The Orioles right-hander blanked Toronto on three hits

through five innings before staggering through the sixth.

In the eighth, after the Blue Jays put runners at the corners

with two outs against Pedro Strop, Melky Cabrera looked at a third

strike on a 3-2 pitch.

Baltimore did all its scoring while batting around in the

second. Adam Jones led off with a single, Chris Davis singled and

Matt Wieters punched an opposite-field RBI single to left. After

Nolan Reimold added a sacrifice fly, the Orioles loaded the bases

with two outs for Machado, who singled in two runs.

”That second inning was a very quirky inning,” Dickey said.

”Not a lot of hard contact.”

Toronto put runners at first and third with one out in the third

before Munenori Kawasaki bounced into a double play. Baltimore also

turned a double play in the fourth.

Gonzalez was cruising until the sixth, when he got the first two

outs before walking Adam Lind and Jose Bautista. That brought a

visit to the mound by pitching coach Rick Adair, and Encarnacion

drove Gonzalez’s next pitch over the left-field wall. Cabrera

followed with a triple, but Gonzalez escaped further damage by

getting Brett Lawrie to hit a fly ball.

NOTES: Josh Stinson will start for the Orioles on Wednesday

afternoon in the series finale. It will be the second big league

start for Stinson, who previously pitched for the Mets and Brewers.

Claimed on waivers from Oakland on April 4, the right-hander said

in the clubhouse Tuesday, ”This is a great opportunity for me.”

Toronto will start Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.57 ERA). … Toronto

claimed LHP Aaron Laffey from the Mets. Laffey went 4-6 with the

Blue Jays last season. To make room for Laffey, RHP Ramon Ortiz was

designated for assignment. … Lind was moved to the No. 2 spot in

the Toronto lineup after adding 168 points to his on-base

percentage since April 14. ”We’re just basically looking to change

something up. He’s been getting on base a lot lately,” Gibbons

said. Lind went 1 for 2 with a walk. … Orioles pitching prospect

Dylan Bundy visited Dr. James Andrews to get a second opinion on

his ailing right arm. Bundy has experienced pain in the

forearm-elbow region.