Published April 14, 2012
Toronto, ON – Nolan Reimold blasted a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles over the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, in the middle test of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.
Wilson Betemit also homered for Baltimore, while Chris Davis added three hits, two RBI and a run scored as the Orioles earned their second straight win.
Luis Ayala (1-0) tossed a scoreless inning of relief to earn the win and Jim Johnson faced the minimum in the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
Francisco Cordero (0-1) gave up Reimold's blast to suffer the loss. Colby Rasmus knocked in a pair and Kelly Johnson had a solo shot as Toronto dropped it fourth decision in its last six games.
Neither starter factored in the decision as Jason Hammel allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in five innings for Baltimore, while Henderson Alvarez gave up three run on six hits and a walk through seven full frames for the Blue Jays.
Matt Lindstrom took the mound for the Orioles in place of Hammel for the sixth inning with Baltimore hanging on to a 3-2 lead and induced a groundout to short by Jose Bautista before giving up a double to Adam Lind.
Betemit then couldn't handle a hard grounder to third, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to reach first safely and placing runners on the corners.
Eric Thames stepped up next and lifted a fly ball to center field to bring home Lind and knot the game at three.
After Brett Lawrie worked a walk, Rasmus lined a single to center to plate Encarnacion and give the Blue Jays a 4-3 advantage.
Lawrie moved to third on the play and Rasmus stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but J.P. Arencibia struck out to end the inning.
Betemit, though, made up for his fielding gaffe in the eighth inning when he sent a ball just over the right-field wall off Casey Janssen to tie the game at four.
After Ayala worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth, Davis led off the ninth with a single that deflected off the back of Cordero and following a Robert Andino strikeout, Reimold hammered a ball into the upper deck in left field to put the Orioles on top, 6-4.
Rasmus led off the home ninth with a hard grounder to first that Ryan Flaherty, who just entered the game as a defensive replacement, couldn't handle for an infield single, but Arencibia grounded into a 6-4-3 double play before Yunel Escobar hit a bouncer to second to end the game.
Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning when J.J. Hardy had a base hit to left, Nick Markakis worked a walk and Adam Jones was hit by a pitch.
But the Orioles would only manage to get one run on Matt Wieters' groundout to short that would have been a double play except for Jones taking out Johnson with a slide before he could relay the ball to first. Betemit followed with a grounder to first to end the inning.
Johnson knotted the game in the home half of the first with a blast over the left-center field wall before Toronto took the lead in the second inning after Thames led off with a double, moved to third on Lawrie's single and came home on a Rasmus base hit to left.
Escobar later walked to load the bases with one out, but Johnson struck out looking before Lawrie was caught trying to steal home to keep it a 2-1 game.
Baltimore regained its lead in the fourth inning on Davis' two-run home run into the right-field bleachers.
Toronto fell to 27-11 against Baltimore since the start of the 2010 season, including a 15-5 mark at home...Baltimore went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base...The Blue Jays hit 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.