Blue Jays complete sweep of Orioles

BY foxsports • September 24, 2009

After snapping a lengthy losing streak, Toronto rookie Scott Richmond was two parts frustration, one part relief.

Travis Snider homered and had two RBIs, Richmond won for the first time since June 24 and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep, beating the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Wednesday night.

Baltimore lost its season-high seventh straight and lost for the eighth time in nine games in Toronto this season. The Orioles have been outscored 48-19 over their losing streak.

Richmond (7-10) allowed three runs and five hits in five innings to win for the first time in 10 starts. The rookie, 0-6 since beating Cincinnati on June 24, walked four and struck out two.

"It was an improvement from the previous (starts) but there's still work to be done," Richmond said. "I'd like to go from struggling to lights out but it just doesn't work like that. You've got to go pitch by pitch, battle by battle."

It's the second time this season the Blue Jays swept the Orioles. They did it May 1-3 at Rogers Centre.

Richmond had allowed five runs or more in each of his past five starts and didn't make it past the second inning in his last outing, an 11-4 loss at Tampa Bay. Despite getting the win, the right-hander was upset at himself for not working deeper into Wednesday's game.

"I don't want go five innings, you know what I mean?" Richmond said. "But the way the last few outings have gone, five innings is an improvement."

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston praised Richmond for earning the win despite failing to command his breaking ball.

"I don't think he had the best curveball tonight," Gaston said. "He usually has a pretty good curveball that breaks pretty sharp. This one was just kind of rolling a little bit."

Casey Janssen, Josh Roenicke and Brandon League all worked one inning before Jason Frasor finished.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-16), who has lost four of five, allowed seven runs, five earned, and eight hits in seven-plus innings. Five of the eight hits were for extra bases.

Guthrie threw 105 pitches, only 58 strikes.

"You can't pitch and expect that you're going to be successful when you're pitching at that ratio, pitching behind a lot, and that's what he did," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

Baltimore first baseman Michael Aubrey opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second, his first of the season.

Toronto halved the deficit in the bottom of the inning on consecutive doubles by Edwin Encarnacion and Lyle Overbay, then tied it in the third on Encarnacion's sacrifice fly.

"We had a 2-0 lead and couldn't hold it," Trembley said. "That's when you want to add on, once you score two you want to add on and kind of build from there and we didn't do that."

The Blue Jays added three runs in the fourth. Snider reached on an error by shortstop Cesar Izturis, took second on a balk and scored on John McDonald's single. Jose Bautista followed with an RBI triple and scored on Aaron Hill's sacrifice fly.

"I let them get back in the game and get the momentum on their side," said Guthrie, who acknowledged not knowing the Orioles were mired in a season-long losing streak.

Baltimore rookie Matt Wieters led off the fifth with a towering homer to right, his eighth, a drive that hit the facing of the third deck.

"I saw him in batting practice today and he put on a show," Trembley said. "he's really starting to get the barrel to the ball, he's really starting to work on the ball on the inner third of the plate. He had some tremendous at-bats tonight."

Snider restored Toronto's three-run lead with a solo shot to left in the sixth, his ninth. It was the 200th home run allowed by the Orioles this season, the most in the major leagues. Milwaukee pitchers have allowed 198. Baltimore allowed a franchise-record 226 in 1987.

Snider added an RBI single in the eighth off Sean Henn.

Outfielder Nick Markakis returned to Baltimore's lineup after sitting out Tuesday, the first game he missed all season. He went 1 for 4 with a single.

Attendance was 13,743, the first time in five games Toronto has drawn more than 12,000.

NOTES: Baltimore 3B Melvin Mora was scratched from the lineup with sore legs after two games on the artificial turf at Rogers Centre. Justin Turner started at third. ... The Orioles are 16-33 in series finales. ... Baltimore OF Nolan Reimold underwent surgery to repair a partially torn left Achilles' tendon and is expected to be healthy in time for spring training.

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