TORONTO—Trent Thornton bounced back from the worst outing of his career in a big way.
The rookie right-hander pitched six scoreless innings to help the Toronto Blue Jays down the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 yesterday, avoiding a three-game sweep heading into the all-star break.
“You just have much smaller room for error up here,” said Thornton, who was coming off a loss to the Boston Red Sox in which he allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings.
“Guys hit mistakes, and guys hit good pitches here too. In my mind, it is extremely important to get ahead in the count and make guys swing at your pitches.”
Thornton, 25, allowed just three hits and struck out five over an 89-pitch outing.
Manager Charlie Montoyo was happy with Thornton's performance and is hoping for more of that in the second half of the season.
The Blue Jays hit the break after a 5-5 homestand, but they dropped two-of-three games to the worst team in the majors, the Orioles (27-62).
Toronto's 34-57 mark for a .374 win percentage is the third lowest at the all-star break in franchise history after going 16-42 (.276) in 1981 and 29-64 (.312) in 1979.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit his team-leading 16th home run in yesterday's win. Teoscar Hernandez drove in a pair of runs for the Blue Jays (34-57), who snapped a three-game slide, and Danny Jansen and Rowdy Tellez added an RBI apiece.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who will compete in the Home Run Derby in Cleveland tonight, had two hits and scored twice.
In other AL action, Tampa Bay edged the N.Y. Yankees 2-1; Boston doubled Detroit 6-3; Houston outlasted the L.A. Angels 11-10 (10 innings); Texas downed Minnesota 4-1 (11 innings); and Oakland dumped Seattle 7-4.
In interleague play, Cleveland blasted Cincinnati 11-1; Washington defeated Kansas City 5-2; and the Chicago White Sox eked by the Chicago Cubs 3-1.
Over in the NL, Philadelphia beat the N.Y. Mets 8-3; Atlanta shaded Miami 4-3; Pittsburgh topped Milwaukee 6-5; San Francisco blanked St. Louis 1-0; San Diego eked by the L.A. Dodgers 5-3; and Arizona downed Colorado 5-3.