Baltimore bullpenfalters in the eighth


Baltimore starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez hands the ball to Manager Buck Showalter after being pulled from the game in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto. (Darren Calabrese/Associated Press)
April 22, 2014

The Baltimore Orioles’ overused bullpen served up a pair of three-run homers during a six-run eighth inning on Tuesday night that carried the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-3 victory in front of an announced 14,866 at Rogers Centre.

With the score tied at 3, Evan Meek yielded a three-run blast to center by Bett Lawrie. Later in the inning, Melky Cabrera hit a three-run homer off Josh Stinson, taking a 2-0 fastball into the Orioles’ bullpen in left.

Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez held the Blue Jays to two hits over his first five innings before allowing a three-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion in the sixth. In four starts this season, Gonzalez doesn’t own an outing of more than six innings. He’s gotten out of the fifth just once.

Encarnacion has 24 home runs against the Orioles, the most he’s hit against any team.

Gonzalez was pulled after 52 / 3 innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits. It marked the fifth time in the past six games a Baltimore starter hasn’t lasted six full innings.

Through five innings, Baltimore was were frustrated by R.A. Dickey’s fluttering knuckleball. Held to just two hits through five frames, the Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the top of the sixth when Nelson Cruz sent a 1-1 fastball over the left-center field fence for a three-run homer.

It was Cruz’s team-high fourth home run and gave him five straight games with an RBI. It was also the sixth home run that Dickey has yielded in four starts against the Orioles dating back to the beginning of last season.

The Orioles stranded 10 base runners and were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

— Baltimore Sun

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