TORONTO—Darwin Barney has been doing just about everything for the Blue Jays lately.
That includes providing some comic relief.
Barney hit a double in the second inning of Toronto's 4-3 win over the Orioles last night and advanced to third when Baltimore's Adam Jones bobbled the ball in centrefield.
But Barney slid into the bag just a little too early—his body bobbing on the dirt before reaching the base before the throw.
Barney, who later scored on a Richard Urena double, looked up with a sheepish grin and gave a thumb's up to his dugout after the gaffe.
“Fans looked a little bored, thought I'd get them on their feet a little bit,” Barney said, the same smile returning to his face.
“There's been a little bug going around," he noted. ”I woke up today feeling crummy . . . [my legs] locked up on me and the rest is history.
“But hey, I got on third for Urena and he got me in, so I got the job done.”
Ryan Goins, who hit a solo homer and drove in two runs to lead Toronto (67-77) offensively, teased Barney in the clubhouse by making fun of his slide.
“Just as miserable as your home run trot,” Barney fired back.
The infielder is batting .438 over his last nine games, with six extra-base hits over that span. He went 2-for-3 last night while playing third base.
Josh Donaldson was the DH after missing three games with an illness.
“There was a point where I was making a lot of outs and I figured if I'm going to make outs, I might as well try to be a threat, try to get the bat in the front of the zone, and make them throw pitches around,” Barney said of his new approach at the plate.
“Ever since then, I've been focusing on getting the bat out a little bit and it's been going all right.”
Marco Estrada (8-8), who allowed two runs on four hits while striking out seven over five innings, appreciated Barney's effort—while also getting a jab in.
“Poor guy, I think we're going to see that [slide] pretty often on TV, misplays or something, I don't know,” Estrada chuckled.
“But he got to third, that's all that matters,” he added.
“It looked like he ran out of gas but he made it.”
The 34-year-old Estrada improved to 3-0 against Baltimore this season and 7-1 versus the Orioles in his career.
He has allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts.
“[My command] has definitely come back," Estrada said. ”I felt really good today, I felt good on the last one.
“It's been a weird year," he admitted. ”I went through a rough patch there where I had no clue where the ball was going.
“These things happen, everyone goes through them," Estrada added. ”It just took me a while to get out of it.
“But I think as of late, I've turned my season around.”
Mark Trumbo homered for the Orioles (71-73) while Jones and Caleb Joseph had RBI singles.
Baltimore had the tying run on second base with one out in the ninth inning but Dominic Leone pitched around it with two strikeouts for his first save of the season.
Ubaldo Jimenez (5-10) gave up three runs and six hits over five innings while walking two and striking out five.
Goins's fourth-inning home run gave Toronto a 3-1 lead but Trumbo led off the fifth with a solo shot of his own—a no-doubter to left-centre that Estrada didn't even turn to look at.
“I missed on [the pitch] to Trumbo," he noted. ”I was trying to get it in and kind of left it middle-in and elevated and he hit it out.
“The other hits I gave up weren't too bad. I'm happy with everything.”
Barney made it 4-2 in the sixth when Miguel Montero scored from third on his weak dribbler off former Jays' closer Miguel Castro.
Elsewhere in the AL, Cleveland bombed Detroit 11-0, New York beat Tampa Bay 5-1, Texas downed Seattle 5-3, and Chicago dumped Kansas City 11-3.
Over in the NL, Pittsburgh blanked Milwaukee 7-0, Colorado edged Arizona 5-4, and San Francisco topped L.A. 8-6.