Baltimore, MD – Steve Johnson tossed six effective innings on Saturday and the Baltimore Orioles took down the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-2, in the middle installment of a three-game series at Camden Yards.
Johnson (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks to notch his second major league win and first since Aug. 8 against the Seattle Mariners.
"In the first inning, I was out of sync," Johnson said. "By the time it got to the fifth inning, I started to lock in a little better and my command got better. I was able to throw a couple offspeed pitches for strikes. I didn't have a real good feel for the offspeed stuff all night, but I was able to give them the look, the change of velocity."
J.J. Hardy went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and three runs scored, while Adam Jones and Matt Wieters drove in two runs apiece for the Orioles, who have won three of their last four. Manny Machado added an RBI in the victory.
Edwin Encarnacion smacked a two-run home run for the scuffling Blue Jays, who fell for the seventh straight contest and 10th time in their last 11 chances. They also lost outfielder Jose Bautista to an injury in the third inning.
Following the game, Bautista was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to discomfort in his left wrist -- the same wrist that his injured on July 16 against the New York Yankees. Young infielder David Cooper was also put on the DL due to a back injury.
Brandon Morrow (7-5) made his first start since a June 11 loss to the Washington Nationals and allowed four runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 4 2/3 innings. He fanned seven and walked just one.
The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the first inning after Encarnacion crushed a changeup from Johnson over the wall in left for his 34th long ball of the season.
Baltimore got both runs back in the third. Nick Markakis began the inning with a base hit and Hardy reached with an infield single. Jones then hit a one- hopper to shortstop, but the ball skipped past Yunel Escobar, allowing Markakis to score. Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Jones.
Markakis singled to start the O's fifth and Hardy followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Jones then came up with a clutch two-run single into left to give Baltimore a 4-2 lead.
Machado stroked a base hit into center leading off the O's sixth and Hardy got just enough of a fastball from Blue Jays reliever Chad Jenkins to send it into the first row in left field for a 6-2 game. Wieters knocked home Nate McLouth later in the frame to put the O's up five.
The Orioles capped the rout in the seventh when Mark Reynolds led off the inning with a base hit, went first-to-third on a single by Ryan Flaherty and scored after a Machado single.
The Orioles lead the season series, 7-4 and have won all five games between the teams in Baltimore ... Bautista walked in his only plate appearance and scored on Encarnacion's home run ... Baltimore has won the first two games of this series, and has clinched its 23rd series victory of the season ... Probables for Sunday's series finale are Chris Tillman for Baltimore against Henderson Alvarez for Toronto.