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Orioles score twice in first inning, hang on to beat Blue Jays, 2-1

Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

TORONTO -- The Orioles starting pitching couldn't be blamed for this week's struggles in Toronto. In three games against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Orioles starters posted a combined 2.50 ERA.

A day after wasting Dylan Bundy's quality start in a walk-off loss to the Blue Jays, the Orioles did just enough Wednesday night to back right-hander Kevin Gausman, avoiding a three-game sweep and ending their six-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Toronto.

Halting their slide was the biggest victory of all, because the Orioles were heading in the wrong direction quickly. And after losing each of the first two games in Toronto by just one run -- their past four losses were all decided by one or two runs -- the Orioles finally emerged from a close game victorious.

And one night after blowing a one-run lead and losing the game in Tuesday night's walk-off loss, closer Zach Britton rebounded with a scoreless ninth inning to convert his 14th save in 16 opportunities.

Gausman, who was coming off a three-inning outing in his previous start -- tied for his shortest nonejection start of the season, held the Blue Jays to one run over six hits over seven innings.

The Orioles (72-74) scored both their runs in the first inning, taking advantage of a throwing error by Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson on the first batter of the game, which allowed leadoff man Tim Beckham to reach base.

Center fielder Adam Jones hit a two-out double past left fielder Teoscar Hernandez and off the outfield wall to score Beckham and then scored on Trey Mancini's triple that missed going over the center-field wall by a few feet.

Gausman worked his way out of trouble magnificently. After allowing an RBI double to Richard Urena in the second inning, he loaded the bases with one out, but induced a 6-4-3 double play ball to get out of the inning.

He had runners at second and third in the fourth after allowing back-to-back one-out singles and Mancini's fielding error on the second single put both runners in scoring position. But Gausman induced a 6-3 groundout and flyout to center to emerge unscathed.

And he was able to complete the seventh after allowing a one-out walk to Hernandez on his 103rd pitch of the night by getting 6-4-3 double-play ball by Ryan Goins to end the inning.

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