Falling behind early with a sub par start from Joe Biagini, the Blue Jays lost 3-1 to the Baltimore Orioles at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday night, starting a long home-stand against division rivals.
For the Blue Jays, it was an apparent curse with two outs that cost the team. In the top of the first inning, starter Joe Biagini, in one of his last before the return of Aaron Sanchez, recorded the first two outs of the inning without a struggle.
The following batter singled, followed by Adam Jones, who walked. Mark Trumbo doubled in the two base runners to give Baltimore their initial 2-0 lead. Biagini struck out Trey Mancini to end the inning.
The third inning started in a similar manner for Biagini, as he collected two ground-ball outs. Jonathan Schoop then doubled, followed by Adam Jones. Jones singled Schoop home, making the score 3-0 for Baltimore.
The Blue Jays were never able to recover from the early deficit. They had two key chances, in the fifth and sixth, to narrow the three-run gap, but weren’t successful.
The fifth inning started with a Justin Smoak strikeout, followed by a single from Kendrys Morales. With two outs, Steve Pearce singled, bringing Morales to third base, but he was stranded when Kevin Pillar flew out to right field.
The sixth inning, even more frustrating than the fifth, began with a lineout, followed by a Jose Bautista single. Russell Martin walked, and on a wild pitch, both Bautista and Martin advanced to second and third. Josh Donaldson, on a full count, lined out to Manny Machado, representing the second out.
With the shift on against Justin Smoak, Bautista was able to move, essentially, as far down the third base line as he pleased. Wellington Castillo, behind the plate for the Orioles, allowed a passed ball, but Bautista misread the ball and was unable to score on the play.
After Smoak walked on four pitches, Kendrys Morales struck out on a pitch at the same level of his head for the third out. Rally squashed, and the Orioles still led 3-0.
With Biagini out of the game after 5.1 innings pitched and three earned runs allowed (four walks and three strikeouts), Dominic Leone came in and pitched 1.2 innings without allowing a hit. Ryan Tepera followed in the eighth inning, and Chris Smith made his major-league debut in the ninth with a scoreless inning.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Troy Tulowitzki hit a home run to deep left-centre field to avoid the shutout.
On Wednesday, the Blue Jays will play their second of three against the Orioles with Marcus Stroman on the mound. Wade Miley will pitch for Baltimore. You can watch the game on TVA Sports or Sportsnet and listen to it on Sportsnet 590.
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