Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore Orioles-3 Toronto Blue Jays-9
For the first 5 innings Miguel Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey were matching each other zero for zero. Dickey’s knuckleball was looking really good. The movement and life was a thing of beauty. Clearly, the indoor climate of Rogers Centre was much better for him than the frigid confines of Target Field in Minnesota. The Orioles could only flail at his “capricious animal”. The 4th inning saw the knuckler so good, he struck out the meat of the O’s order in Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis and Adam Jones. Dickey was dealing all the way through. He went 6 innings giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. His ERA has sunk to 5.90.
But trouble came in the 6th. A seemingly innocent flare into shallow left field/ deep short stop fell in between Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera. Neither called for the ball. They just waited for the other to make the call. That “flare” gave Steve Lombardozzi a double. Dickey would then walk Nick Markakis. Nelson Cruz stepped in and hit a homerun to make it 3-0. But, the inning didn’t end there. By the time Dickey got out of it he had given up a double, walk, HR, walk, HBP, walk to get through the inning. 9 O’s went to the plate. It was not pretty, but Dickey did well to hold the deficit to just 3.
The bottom half of the 6th is when I jumped off the couch screaming! Melky Cabrera hit a harmless grounder to 2nd, which Lombardozzi seemed to handle well. Except, he forgot to bring the ball up with his glove. Cabrera reached on the error. Bautista followed with a broken bat single to CF. That was when Rogers Centre exploded! Edwin Encarnacion absolutely launched his first home run of the season. It was a no doubter to CF! I finally got my order for a chicken wing. And, there was lots of sauce on it! That tied the game up at 3-3. You HAVE to watch it. Check it out!
Just like Dickey, Gonzalez had one bad inning. He was cruising through 5. His final line: 5.2 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts. Really, the only blemish was the homerun by Encarnacion, which was EE’s third hit off Gonzalez- all homeruns.
With the score tied 3-3, John Gibbons did not wait around to watch the game get away from him. He went to the bullpen in the 7th. Neil Wagner, Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar came on to emphatically shut the door on the Orioles batters. This was a welcome sight considering the recent struggles of the bullpen arms. But, with an off day on Monday, the Blue Jays arms were fresh. And, they looked it.
Then, the 8th happened. Juan Francisco singled for his 2nd hit of the game. Colby Rasmus walked on 4 pitches. Then Brett Lawrie stepped up and cranked a bomb to CF off of Evan Meek. With one swing, the Blue Jays jumped out to a 6-3 lead. That shot was his 4th homerun of the season and gives him 15 RBI. Melky Cabrera continued the barage with the second 3-run HR of the inning and third of the game. After singles by Josh Thole and Jose Reyes, Cabrera Melk-ed one to RF. That brought the score to 9-3.
Esmil Rogers came on to end the game in the top of the 9th. he gave up a couple singles, but the Orioles couldn’t muster anything else.