BALTIMORE—After a wild first inning, it appeared as if the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles finally found their offensive mojo.
But the Jays never added to their early outburst while Baltimore waited until the latter stages before rallying for a 3-2 victory last night.
Manny Machado drove in two runs, including the tie-breaker in the eighth inning.
Rookie Joey Rickard had three hits and scored the decisive run for the Orioles, who left 13 on base and went just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
“It’s just how the game is. I mean, the game’s frustrating itself,” said Machado.
“We have people scuffling right now,” he noted. “We left a lot of people on base, obviously.
“It’s going to be hard,” Machado added. “It’s going to be like this all year.”
The Jays can relate. The defending AL East champs got all their runs—and half of their four hits—in the first inning before going flat.
“We’re not getting the big hit. It’s nothing more than that,” said manager John Gibbons.
“It’s something that we’re accustomed to around here but we haven’t had it yet,” he noted.
“But it will come.”
Orioles’ starter Chris Tillman needed 38 pitches to get through the first. He gave up an RBI double to Josh Donaldson and walked Justin Smoak with the bases loaded to fall behind 2-0.
In the bottom half, Machado extended his hitting streak to 14 games—matching his career high—with a run-scoring single.
Toronto’s Marco Estrada avoided further damage by working out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh. After a walk, a hit batter, and a single loaded the bases against Pat Venditte, J.J. Hardy tied it with a sacrifice fly off Brett Cecil (0-3).
In the eighth, Rickard singled off Cecil with one out and moved up on a passed ball by Russell Martin.
Machado then hit an opposite-field fly to right that dropped between two fielders—scoring Rickard with an unearned run.
Darren O’Day (1-0) got three-straight outs in the eighth before Zach Britton worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Home plate umpire Dan Bellino received hard stares after a few of his third-strike calls.
Orioles’ catcher Matt Wieters evidently got a bit too vocal in the fifth inning after his check swing was ruled to be strike three.
Bellino ejected Wieters—a ruling that brought manager Buck Showalter from the dugout for a lengthy argument.
“There was a lot of frustration built over the game about the strike zone,” Showalter said.
Elsewhere in the AL, Tampa Bay beat Boston 12-8, Oakland downed New York 7-3, Seattle topped Cleveland 10-7 (10 innings), L.A. edged Chicago 3-2, Kansas City blanked Detroit 4-0, and Texas upended Houston 7-4.
Minnesota dumped Milwaukee 8-1 in interleague play.