Blue Jays bats silent in 12-inning loss to Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Maicer Izturis, left, tries but can't tag out Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis in time as he steals second base in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
David Ginsburg, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, April 13, 2014 12:23AM EDT
BALTIMORE -- With the exception of one very clutch swing, the Toronto Blue Jays accomplished very little offensively over 12 agonizing innings.
Toronto left nine on base, went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and managed only two extra-base hits in a 2-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
The lone bright spot was a two-out homer by Colby Rasmus in the ninth inning that tied the game at 1. One pitch after Rasmus nearly went around on a check swing with count at 1-2, he hit a shot into the right-field seats off Tommy Hunter.
"It didn't really do nothing for us," Rasmus lamented.
That's because the Blue Jays lost in the 12th when Steve Lombardozzi tripled off Todd Redmond (0-1) with one out and David Lough followed with an opposite-field RBI single to left.
Zach Britton (2-0) got the win with two innings of no-hit relief.
It was the second straight low-scoring affair between two AL East foes known for their offensive prowess. On Friday night, Toronto scored two unearned runs in a 2-0 victory.
The math is not difficult: In the first two games of the series that concludes Sunday, the Blue Jays have scored exactly one earned run.
"We hit some balls good, but came up with nothing," Rasmus said.
Neither starter allowed a run and neither got a victory for the effort. Bud Norris gave up five hits and three walks over seven innings for Baltimore and was poised to earn his first win of the season before Rasmus connected in the ninth.
Drew Hutchison handcuffed the Orioles on four hits over six innings, walking two and striking out five.
"I have all the confidence in the world in our offence, just like the rest of our team does," the right-hander said. "It doesn't change my mindset one bit. My job is to go out and put up zeroes."
After Hutchison left, the Orioles struck in the seventh against right-hander Neil Wagner. Lough singled with two outs before rookie Jonathan Schoop, the No. 9 hitter, lined a 3-2 pitch into the alley in right-centre for an RBI double.
Evan Meek protected the lead in the eighth, but Hunter gave it away for his first blown save in four tries this season.
"You hopefully get a chance tomorrow," Hunter said. "The guys pulled it off, the team came through in the 12th. It's not a one-man show. There are a lot of guys, and I got picked up tonight."
The game featured the first replay challenge at Camden Yards. In the fourth inning, Lombardozzi reached on a grounder when umpire Chris Conroy ruled that a throw from Hutchison pulled first baseman Edwin Encarnacion off the bag. Toronto manager John Gibbons challenged the call, and after a delay of 2 minutes, 38 seconds, the decision stood.
Lough followed by hitting into an inning-ending double play.
Both teams threatened in the third. Toronto put runners at the corners with one out before Maicer Izturis hit a short flyball and Jose Bautista struck out.
In the bottom half, Hutchison struck out Chris Davis and Adam Jones after giving up successive one-out singles to Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz.
NOTES: Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2, 6.75 ERA) seeks his first win with the Orioles on Sunday. Mark Buehrle (2-0, 0.64) will pitch for Toronto, which is 0-3 in series finales. ... Toronto SS Jose Reyes (hamstring) ran the bases, said he felt "very good" and expects to start a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Dunedin on Monday. If all goes well, he could join the Blue Jays next Friday in Cleveland. Also, closer Casey Janssen (oblique) will pitch in Dunedin on Monday or Tuesday, Gibbons said. ... Orioles SS J.J. Hardy returned from a five-game absence with back spasms. ... Toronto's Melky Cabrera has hit in 12 straight games, tied with Vernon Wells (2006) for the longest streak in franchise history to start a season. ... It was the first time this season that a Blue Jays starter was not involved in the decision.