Orioles shut down Blue Jays in 4-0 win
Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion is pushed back by a pitch from Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson during the ninth inning of MLB American League baseball action in Toronto on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)
Published Monday, September 3, 2012 4:41PM EDT
TORONTO -- Left-hander Joe Saunders allowed three hits over 6 1/3 innings and J.J. Hardy drove in two runs as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 on Monday.
It was the 20th win in the past 28 games for the Orioles (75-59) who entered the day in second place in the American League East, two games behind the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays (60-74) are last in the division.
Saunders had a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings before Adeiny Hechavarria singled to centre.
Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-11) allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in five-plus innings while striking out nine. He is 3-2 since joining the Blue Jays after a July 20 trade with Houston.
Saunders (7-11) was making his second start for the Orioles since they traded right-hander Matt Lindstrom to Arizona for him on Aug. 26.
He lost his first start for the Orioles 8-1 to the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 29, allowing 10 hits and seven runs (six earned).
The Orioles scored a run in the second on a sacrifice bunt by Nate McLouth. It scored Manny Machado, who wound up on third after his fly ball down the right-field line eluded a sliding attempt by Moises Sierra who lost sight of the ball in the sun. Sierra was charged with an error.
Happ allowed four consecutive hits and two runs to open the fifth before striking out the next three batters as the Orioles took a 3-0 lead.
Robert Andino led off with a single and scored on a double to left by Nick Markakis. Hardy doubled for another run and stopped at third on a single by Adam Jones before Happ struck out three in a row.
Brad Lincoln replaced Happ after Machado led off the sixth with a double. Lew Ford walked and Andino sacrificed the runners to second and third. Markakis walked and Hardy bounced into a double play to end the inning.
Luis Ayala replaced Saunders in the seventh with the bases loaded and ended the inning on a strikeout of Sierra and a fly out by Jeff Mathis.
The Orioles scored a run in the eighth against left-hander Brett Cecil, recalled from triple-A Las Vegas. Cecil hit McLouth with a pitch to start the inning, walked Andino with one out and allowed Hardy's run-scoring single with two out.
Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 17,220.....Catcher J.P. Arencibia (fractured right hand) was 1-for-5 with a double as designated hitter for single-A Dunedin on Sunday in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment. Dunedin did not play Monday and will begin the Florida State League playoffs on Tuesday. Arencibia is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays next week. ...Toronto will start Carlos Villanueva (7-4, 3.10 earned-run average) on Tuesday against Baltimore left-hander Zach Britton (4-1, 4.80 ERA).