Orioles end 6-game slide with 9-5 win over Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles' Jonathan Schoop, left, greets teammate Ryan Flaherty after he was batted in on Flaherty's home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 9-5. (AP / Patrick Semansky)
David Ginsburg, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:16PM EDT
BALTIMORE -- Ryan Flaherty hit a pair of two-run homers, Jonathan Schoop had a solo shot in his big league debut and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Wednesday night to snap a six-game skid and clinch their second straight winning season.
Steve Pearce also homered for Baltimore and Chris Davis doubled in a run to increase his RBI total to 137 -- tied with Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead, pending Detroit's late game in Minnesota.
The Orioles were eliminated from playoff contention one night earlier, so manager Buck Showalter rested Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters and moved Davis from first base to designated hitter.
With a lineup that included Jason Pridie, Schoop and Steve Clevenger, the Orioles ended a streak of 21 straight games of scoring five runs or fewer. Schoop, a 21-year-old prospect, contributed two hits -- including the homer in the sixth -- and scored three runs.
Flaherty connected in the third and eighth innings. It was his second career two-homer game, both of which came against Toronto this season.
After a run of 14 straight losing seasons, Baltimore (82-76) is assured of having a winning record in successive years for the first time since 1996-97.
Munenori Kawasaki and Josh Thole both had four hits for the last-place Blue Jays, who stranded 14 and went 4 for 22 with runners in scoring position.
T.J. McFarland (3-1) pitched one inning of relief for Baltimore and Jason Hammel worked 2 1-3 innings for his first save since 2011. Starter Bud Norris allowed three runs and seven hits over four innings and needed 96 pitches to do so.
Esmil Rogers (5-9) yielded six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings for Toronto.
An RBI single by Jose Reyes put the Blue Jays up 1-0 in the second inning, and Toronto added two runs in the third when Anthony Gose tripled in a run and scored on a single by Thole.
Baltimore closed to 3-2 in the third. After Schoop singled in first major league at-bat, Flaherty homered to right. One inning later, Pearce hit a solo shot to tie it.
The Orioles used an RBI single by Nick Markakis, a run-scoring double by Davis and an RBI groundout by Pridie to go ahead 6-3 in the fifth.
In the sixth, Schoop ripped a 2-1 pitch from Kyle Drabek over the wall in centre field. Two batters later, Drabek was struck in the right ankle by a line drive and left the game. X-rays were negative.
NOTES: Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said his priority during the off-season will be to bolster the starting rotation. "That's the most glaring hole on this team. We can go across the diamond, but if we don't get improvement on the mound it isn't going to matter," he said. ... Baltimore placed 3B Manny Machado on the 60-day DL to make room for Pridie, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Norfolk. Pridie is the 54th player to suit up for the Orioles, tying the 1955 team for most in a season. ... Baltimore's first nine hits were by nine different players. ... The winner of Thursday's game wins the season series. Each team has nine victories.