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One Good Inning, One Bad Inning - Blue Jays 3 @ Orioles 4 - Aaron Laffey Called Up, Ramon Ortiz Designated for Assignment

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays and Orioles put up two crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for Toronto fans, the Orioles' number was one greater than the Jays'. In other news, the Aaron Laffey will be re-joining the Blue Jays in time for tomorrow's game, and Ramon Ortiz has been designated for assignment.

Final - 4.23.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 6 1
Baltimore Orioles 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 4 6 0
WP: Miguel Gonzalez (2 - 1)
SV: Jim Johnson (8)
LP: R.A. Dickey (2 - 3)

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A 4-3 loss in Camden Yards brings the blue birds to 8-13 and lifts the orange birds to 12-8. There are still 141 games to go, though! So there's either a lot more horrible baseball to look forward to, or the Blue Jays are going to right the ship, catch a few breaks, and start working on getting the W larger than the L.

Starter R.A. Dickey had a rough second inning even though the Orioles really didn't get a hard hit off of him. Adam Jones started off with a slow dribbler to third, Brett Lawrie scooped it up and threw badly to first, letting Jones advance to second. Chris Davis bloops it to Colby Rasmus, then we saw another soft single by Matt Weiters to bring in a run. An out later, Dickey walked Ryan Flaherty, then got another out on a sac fly to Nolan Reimold, then Dickey walked another guy before allowing a two-run single to Manny Machado. Munenori Kawasaki was really close to getting a glove on it--if his arm was half an inch longer it would've been an inning-ending play or at least have limited the play to a single run. That was the bad inning.

It was 4-0 Orioles going into the top of the third, with the Orioles having a 85.6% winning probability according to Fangraphs. Frankly, it felt like the O's was at 99.9% when they were up 2-0 in the middle of that inning. Jays fans have learned not to expect much from their offense.

The offense did have one good inning, though it did not look good to start with. This was the sixth inning, with Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez on the mound. Henry Blanco came up and struck out on a foul tip, then Munenori Kawasaki grounded out. Gonzalez threw 11 straight four-seamers to get the two outs. Adam Lind was up next, and walked after being down 0-2 in the count, then Jose Bautista also walked after fouling off a few pitches. Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair then came out to speak with Gonzalez. I don't know what they talked about, but the advice from Adair was probably not to throw it here:



Ka-pow! Edwin Encarnacion t-rexes it to left field to make the game 4-3. That sound you heard at the end of the GIF was the collective step back Blue Jays fans took from the ledge. Melky Cabrera was up next and killed an elevated 88-mph fastball to the top of the wall in right-centre. Adam Jones tried to make a jumping play at the wall but the ball kicked off the wall in a weird way and Jones ended up having to run after it. Cabrera was chugging around the bases and rounded third base when the ball reached the cutoff man before third base coach Luis Rivera put up the stop sign. Now, the throw to home from the cutoff man was off-line, but there was no way Rivera would have known that. Reactions from Cabrera and Lind in the dugout seem to hint that perhaps they would've rather gone for the inside-the-park homer. That was the good inning.

At that point, the Orioles' win expectancy dropped to 67.9%, but Brett Lawrie flew out to end the inning. The Blue Jays had another mini-rally in the eighth. Mark DeRosa pinch-hit for Kawasaki and walked, and Rajai Davis (batting for Lind) bunted to get DeRosa over to second, and a Bautista groundout followed by a Encarnacion walk got men on the corners with two outs with Cabrera stepping up to the plate. Cabrera worked Pedro Strop to a 3-2 count, and on the sixth pitch Strop threw a slider just outside, but catcher Matt Wieters did a nice job of framing it and umpire Alfonso Marquez called it strike three to end the inning. Yes, it was a bad call, but it was too close to take (look at #6):



The Blue Jays only had six hits in the game, but they did get on base by getting five walks as well. Toronto has only gotten on base more than 11 times seven times this season. R.A. Dickey wasn't bad, but he was far from #DickeyTheBest. He struggled with his command--probably something to do with his injury--giving up five walks. But, outside of that bad inning, Dickey only allowed two hits in his six innings of work. Brett Cecil and Emil Rogers came in to throw a couple of scoreless innings.

Before Encarnacion's big homer, John Gibbons had mop-up guy Ramon Ortiz warming up, but when the game was close Ortiz sat back down for the rest of the game, and then was designated for assignment right after the last out was recorded. In his place, the Blue Jays have added lefty Aaron Laffey, whom they just picked up on waivers this afternoon. The Blue Jays now have four southpaws in the bullpen: Laffey, Cecil, Aaron Loup, and Darren Oliver.

Welp. On to tomorrow. I think it's about time for me to take a day off from baseball--maybe that'll help the Jays win. It's a day game, and will start at 12:35 Eastern so plan your lunch breaks accordingly.

Jays of the Day! Edwin Encarnacion (+.214).

Suckage Jays: Brett Lawrie (-.164), R.A. Dickey (-.158), Jose Bautista (-.130), Munenori Kawasaki (-.118), Melky Cabrera (-.113), J.P. Arencibia (-.102).

This will cheer you up.