Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tulo, Bautista back Stroman in Blue Jays' win

 Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs as Toronto won for the fifth time in its last seven games against the Orioles, 4-3, on Tuesday night.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman went seven strong innings, allowing homers to Manny Machado and Matt Wieters and scattering six hits in the 101-pitch performance that improved him to 3-0 on the season. Jose Bautista and Ryan Goins also drove in runs for Toronto in the series-opening win.
"It's a very dangerous team, one of the best lineups in all of baseball, up and down, one through nine," Stroman said. "Just have to be on your 'A' game. You can't really give in at any point, and you really have to execute. I feel like I executed for the most part pretty well."
Orioles starter Mike Wright, pitching on an extra day of rest, turned in a quality start over six innings. Wright allowed three runs and struck out four in the O's fourth loss in their past five games.
"Mike's firing. He's all pistons and, 'Let's go,' but I think he's learned that sometimes more's not always better," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He still reached back and got a little fastball when he needed it. But it was part of the repertoire instead of something he was doing every time. He two-seamed the ball and four-seamed the ball and spun the ball some.
"The tack-on run usually bites you against a good team like that. Of course [Toronto closer Roberto] Osuna very quietly has become one of the better guys at the end of the game."
Tulo time: Tulowitzki's start to the season has been one to forget, but he did make some amends in the top of the third. With two outs and a pair of runners on base, Tulowitzki hit a soft liner to left field that got away from a diving Joey Rickard and rolled all the way to the wall. Michael Saunders and Bautista scored as Tulowitzki snapped a skid at the plate, in which he had gone 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. More >
Wieters' first homer: The O's catcher picked an opportune time for his first blast, sending Stroman's 1-1 pitch over the right-field fence for a homer that stood up after crew chief review. The homer, which also scored Mark Trumbo, brought Baltimore within a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"Last year when he came back, he had so much time away from Major League pitching. Matty's had some good at-bats. Just a reminder of what an offensive threat he can be behind the plate," Showalter said. "He had a big hit in Boston. He's been real close. I think he's been real close to being the guy we know he can be and that he has been. It's good to see." More >
Wright-ing the ship: Despite allowing three runs in the first three innings, Wright was able to find a way to stay in the game and go six. The righty scattered six hits and relied heavily on offspeed pitches to get the job done.
"The innings they scored runs, he wasn't quite able to throw that offspeed for strikes. It's big to be able to make that in-game adjustment for him," Wieters said. "It's not just, 'Oh, I don't have it for that inning', It's, 'I've got to find a way to get back'. And he did that tonight."
Osuna to the rescue: Osuna was not available Monday afternoon against the Red Sox because of a blister, but he was ready to pitch Wednesday. Osuna entered with two on and two out in the eighth inning and eventually got Trumbo to fly out to end the threat. Osuna came back for the ninth to record his first multi-inning save of the season and the fifth of his career.
"It felt weird watching the ninth from the dugout but [thankfully I] was out there tonight," Osuna said. More >
"He demolished that, it was a bad pitch." -- Stroman on Wieters' home run in seventh inning
"We're trying to win games, so with Kevin [Gausman] coming back, that's only a positive, so I think I'm giving my team a chance to win. If a move has to be made, it has to be made, but I think we're all out here trying to win." -- Wright on the upcoming rotation crunch
Edwin Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single to lead off the second inning. After a slow start, Encarnacion is 7-for-17 with two doubles and two home runs over that same span.
Bautista registered his 900th career hit in a Blue Jays uniform with a double in the seventh inning. It was also the 300th multi-hit game of his career.
Adam Jones exited in the top of the seventh inning with a stomach virus. The news was a relief, considering the center fielder has been bothered by rib soreness that caused him to miss six games already this season. More >
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons lost a challenge in the bottom of the fourth inning following a disputed call at first base. Wieters hit a slow dribbler to second and Goins dove on it, then threw to first. Wieters was ruled safe, but Gibbons wanted to take a closer look. Following a three-minute review, the call stood because there wasn't sufficient video evidence to confirm or overturn the decision.
Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey will look to turn his season around when the Blue Jays and Orioles continue their series at Camden Yards on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Dickey has yet to toss more than five innings in a start this year and has walked eight batters in 14 2/3 innings.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound on Wednesday night against the Blue Jays. The right-hander is looking to rebound after a loss to Boston in which he went five innings, walked four and yielded four runs on six hits.

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