BALTIMORE—The power-laden Baltimore Orioles simply couldn't muster enough offence to outdo Toronto slugger Kendrys Morales.
Baltimore's seven-game winning streak ended under a barrage of home runs by Morales, who went deep three times and had a career-high seven RBIs to provide the Blue Jays with an 11-8 victory last night.
Looking to sustain its charge into the thick of the AL playoff picture, Baltimore bolted out to a 5-2 lead in the third inning before the last-place Jays stormed back behind Morales, who had four hits in all and scored four runs.
“When you score eight runs, you've got to win the ballgame,” lamented Orioles' starter Jeremy Hellickson, who gave up seven runs, seven hits, and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.
Morales hit a two-run homer in the third, an RBI single in a five-run fifth, added a three-run drive in the sixth, and then capped his big night with a solo shot in the eighth.
“Obviously, that's what we need after falling behind,” said Jays' manager John Gibbons.
It was Morales' second career three-homer game. The first was on Sept. 20, 2015 at Detroit.
“It's difficult to do, so you have to feel good about it,” Morales said through an interpreter.
“Plus, we got a win on top of that. So it feels great.”
Adam Jones and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who fell 2.5 games behind Minnesota in the race for the final AL wild card.
Coming off three-game sweeps of Boston and Seattle, Baltimore was seeking its first eight-game winning streak in 12 years.
Instead, the Orioles were victimized by a Toronto team that had lost 10-of-12, including four in a row, and had totalled just one run in its previous two games.
“We did a lot of good things tonight. We just didn't pitch well enough to win the game, obviously,” said manager Buck Showalter.
“But I'm real proud of the month our guys put together to get back in this.”
Baltimore went 17-12 in August, its first winning month since April.
The Orioles hit 57 home runs in the month—a major-league record for August, breaking the mark of 55 set by last year's club.
Marco Estrada (7-8) improved to 6-1 lifetime against Baltimore despite allowing six runs and 10 hits in five ragged innings.
Roberto Osuna retired Jones on a groundout with two runs in, two on, and two outs in the eighth.
The right-hander also worked the ninth for his 35th save.
“It wasn't necessarily a pretty thing but it was a win,” said Gibbons.
Elsewhere in the AL, Minnesota edged Chicago 5-4, New York beat Boston 6-2, and Houston downed Texas 5-1.
Over in the NL, Cincinnati beat New York 7-2, Arizona dumped L.A. 8-1, Philadelphia edged Miami 3-2, Chicago downed Atlanta 6-2, Milwaukee doubled Washington 6-3, and St. Louis upended San Francisco 5-2.