Baltimore, MD – Steve Johnson tossed five scoreless innings, Adam Jones and Ryan Flaherty both homered, and the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1, on Monday in the opener of a doubleheader from Camden Yards.
Johnson (4-0) worked around three hits and three walks while striking out six to earn the win in his first start since Aug. 25. The rookie right-hander has a 1.62 ERA in 11 appearances -- three starts -- this season.
"This is what you look for: pitching in a playoff race," said Johnson. "It was great. The team was able to come up with a couple of big hits."
Jones went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fourth and Flaherty added a leadoff shot an inning later for the AL wild card-leading Orioles.
Henderson Alvarez (9-14) gave up four runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. The righty walked three, struck out six and fell to 2-7 in his last nine decisions.
Rajai Davis had an eighth-inning RBI double for the Blue Jays, losers of seven straight games.
Toronto, which went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, threatened in the early going, but failed to deliver.
Johnson issued consecutive walks to start the game, then recorded a strikeout and a groundout before popping out Davis to escape the first unscathed.
The rookie also stranded a pair in both the third and fourth before Jones struck in the bottom half.
The center fielder's homer -- his career-high 32nd of the season -- came after Chris Davis' leadoff walk and traveled deep into the seats in left field for a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, Flaherty sent a 1-0 fastball into the Baltimore bullpen beyond the left-center field fence, where reliever Luis Ayala caught the scorched line drive in his hat.
The Orioles loaded the bases in the sixth courtesy of a leadoff single by Jones, a double by Matt Wieters, and an intentional walk, and Mark Reynolds followed with a doubleplay groundout to score Jones.
Troy Patton tossed a scoreless inning of relief for the Orioles before giving way to Tommy Hunter, who faced the minimum in the seventh, but allowed consecutive two-out singles and Davis' subsequent run-scoring double in the eighth.
Darren O'Day fanned Kelly Johnson to end the inning and Jim Johnson worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to lock up his 48th save of the season and Baltimore's seventh win in eight games.
Johnson made his major league debut on July 15 of this season ... The Orioles are attempting to reach the postseason for the first time since 1997 ... Monday's doubleheader is a result of an Aug. 26 rainout ... The Orioles are 10-5 against the Blue Jays this season and have won six straight games between the teams at Camden Yards.