Monday, April 13, 2015

Three homers lead Blue Jays past O's to claim series

Jose Reyes went 3-for-5 and Blue Jays rookie Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista each delivered two-run homers to lead Toronto to a 10-7 slugfest series win over Baltimore on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Kevin Pillar added a solo shot for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays (4-2) and their lethal lineup rebounded a night removed from scoring just one run, capitalizing on a fielding error by O's outfielder Travis Snider to score seven runs over the first three innings and chase starter Chris Tillman from the game.
Adam Jones went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a home run, for the Orioles, with Snider delivering a three-run homer off Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison to raise his average to .389. The seven earned runs charged to Hutchison matched his career high, which was set on Aug. 17, 2014, against the White Sox.
"Any time you can go on the road and get four out of six, it's a good road trip. It's going to be a good season if we continue to pile them up like that," Bautista said after a pair of series victories in Baltimore and New York. "Historically, most teams play best at home. So do we; mathematically, it would be a pretty good season."
Snider drops the ball: The Blue Jays caught a major break in the top of the third inning when Snider misread a line drive to right field by Devon Travis. With two outs and the bases loaded, Snider took a step in before realizing the ball was hit farther than he thought. The former Blue Jay tried to recover, but by then it was too late as he jumped and had the ball bounce off the tip of his glove. All three runners came around to score, while Travis ended up on second base and would later score.
Tillman's early troubles: Tillman has struggled in the first inning over his career, and he wasn't particularly crisp Sunday. The 2 2/3-inning outing was his shortest start since going one-plus inning at Texas on June 5.
"Chris, like a lot of good pitchers, sometimes struggles a bit to find their stuff early, and then they get in sync," manager Buck Showalter said. "We've seen it a lot with him. He just never seemed to get in gear command-wise. It was a challenge for him the whole outing. He never really had any secondary pitches. And the ones he did throw got hit pretty hard."
Snider's redemption: Responsible for three unearned runs, Snider made up for his error with a three-run homer off Hutchison in the fifth inning, his first as an Oriole. He also made a diving catch in the eighth.
"If we win that game, everybody's feeling good, so it's not about what I'm doing, it's what we're doing as a team," Snider said. "And I'd like to come out of it with a series win." More >
Rivalry renewed: There has been a lot of bad blood between Blue Jays outfielder Bautista and Orioles right-hander Darren O'Day since 2013, and the two were at it again on Sunday afternoon. During the eighth inning, O'Day threw a pitch up and in on Bautista, which caused a long staredown from the plate. Three pitchers later, Bautista sent a breaking ball over the wall in left field for a two-run shot. Bautista admired his homer from the batter's box, and then flipped his bat into the air and skipped his way down the first-base line.
"Emotion, the moment; there's history there," Bautista said. "He's hit me a few times, he's thrown behind me a few times and I've gotten him a few times. It was emotion in the moment. He threw one behind me, it's a one-run game, it's late, it gave my team a three-run lead instead of a one-run lead going into the eighth and ninth. It's an exciting part of the game." More >
The Blue Jays were credited with their first two runs of the game when Pompey homered to right field during the first inning. Pompey's shot hit the railing above the wall in right field, and first-base umpire Tim Timmons originally signaled that the ball was still in play. Pompey went to second, but the umpires later converged and the call was overturned upon review. At Camden Yards, anything above the wall in right field is considered a home run. The railing is not in the field of play.
"I think any good offense is beatable by good pitching, but they've got a solid lineup one through nine, and it is going to take a guy to be on his game to get through that lineup three or four times." -- Tillman, on facing Toronto
"I honestly think we're going to look back on that moment in the season and see that as a turning point for him. He had been scuffling a little bit for his standards, and he definitely shot a bunch of adrenaline in the team right there. That was an unbelievable series of events, and that's why he's one of the best players in the world." -- Blue Jays outfielder Pillar, on Bautista's homer off O'Day
• Jones' second-inning home run was No. 91 at Oriole Park, tying him for second place with Brady Anderson. Rafael Palmeiro has 124 homers at the O's home park.
• The Blue Jays have posted records of .500 or better on season opening road trips every year since 1990. This trip marked the 11th consecutive time the Blue Jays had a record above .500 when opening the year on the road.
Jonathan Schoop was a late scratch from the lineup with left quad soreness, but he was available off the bench. Ryan Flaherty got the start at second base in his place.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will open the home portion of their 39th season with a game against the Rays on Monday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Carlos Delgado and George Bell will be on hand to present Bautista with his 2014 Silver Slugger Award. Commissioner Rob Manfred will throw out the ceremonial first pitch alongside 9-year-old Ben Sheppard, and 250 members of the Canadian Armed Forces will carry the Canadian flag during the national anthem. R.A. Dickey is scheduled to pitch for Toronto with Jake Odorizzi on the mound for Tampa Bay.
Orioles: Baltimore will stay home to host the Yankees for a three-game set that starts on Monday night at 7:05 ET. The O's will send lefty Wei-Yin Chento the mound. Chen took a no-decision after allowing three runs on four hits -- including a home run -- and two walks with four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Tuesday.

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