BALTIMORE—The Baltimore Orioles finally put on an offensive show at Camden Yards—one that manager Buck Showalter hopes will be repeated many times this summer.
Jonathan Schoop drove in two runs, and Kevin Gausman pitched six effective innings, as the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 last night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Limited to seven runs in their first five home games of the season, the Orioles got off to another slow start before finally getting their slumbering offence on track.
Baltimore amassed 11 hits after the third inning, including two by Chris Davis, who had entered the game with a .081 batting average.
“Some better at-bats," Showalter said. "I hope it's kind of coinciding with a little warmer weather.”
Game-time temperature was a far-from-toasty 58 degrees F but that still was warmer than the first games of the series, in which the Orioles totalled two runs and were held hitless until the eighth inning Tuesday night.
In this one, Baltimore managed only a walk through three innings.
In the fourth, however, Manny Machado and Schoop hit successive doubles before Davis ended a 0-for-12 skid with an RBI single and Tim Beckham added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead.
“I thought we did a great job tonight of just hanging in there, getting the runs when we could and not trying to do too much,” Davis said.
“Hopefully, we can build off of that.”
Gausman (1-1) allowed three runs and six hits, also walking three while striking out seven, to earn his first win in three starts.
“I felt like I got better as the game went on," the right-hander said. "My command got better.”
Brad Brach worked the ninth for his third save.
Aledmys Diaz homered for the Jays, who fell to 6-1 this season when scoring first.
Toronto also was denied its first three-game road sweep since Aug. 21-23, 2016 against the L.A. Angels.
Marco Estrada (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits in four-plus innings.
The right-hander was 7-1 in 13 starts against Baltimore, including 3-0 last season.
“The results weren't good but I thought his stuff was better than that,” Jays' manager John Gibbons said
Estrada had some discomfort in his lower back. However, he said that was not the reason for his struggle.
“As the game went on, I just lost control and wasn't making pitches anymore,” he remarked.
After Yangervis Solarte hit a two-out RBI single in the Toronto fifth, Baltimore benefited from its first challenge of the season to make it 4-2 in the bottom half.
With runners on first and second, Machado lifted a fly ball that right-fielder Randal Grichuk dove for and missed near the foul line.
It originally was ruled a foul ball, but the umpires reversed the call to a single and Schoop followed with an RBI single that ended Estrada's night.
Diaz hit his third homer of the season in the sixth before rookie Chance Sisco singled in a run in the Baltimore half.
Machado went deep in the hole at shortstop to make a backhand grab of a grounder by Justin Smoak before throwing out the runner from short left field.
Keeping in mind that Machado played third base before this season, Showalter said, "I kept telling everybody that he would make some plays that most shortstops can't make. That was one of them.
“No one else can generate that type of arm strength from that angle,” he noted.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota topped Houston 9-8, New York beat Boston 10-7, Chicago edged Tampa Bay 2-1, Seattle doubled Kansas City 4-2, Cleveland downed Detroit 5-1, and L.A. Angels dumped Texas 7-2
Oakland bombed the L.A. Dodgers 16-6 in interleague play.