Bautista Homers, Blue Jays Beat Orioles
Thursday, September 18, 2008; 10:20 PM
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista homered, pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun doubled home the tying and g-ahead runs in the sixth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Thursday night.
The last-place Orioles have lost 19 of 22 games and dropped their past nine series overall. Baltimore has gone 2-17 in its past 19 one-run games after starting the season 18-10 in such contests.
Right-hander Jesse Litsch (12-8) worked six innings to win for the third time in four starts, allowing two runs and four hits. He walked four and struck out six.
Brian Wolfe and Jesse Carlson worked 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth, before B.J. Ryan survived a nervous ninth to earn his 31st save in 35 opportunities.
Ryan struck out Kevin Millar, but loaded the bases when Luke Scott singled, Oscar Salazar walked and Jay Payton reached on catcher's interference. Pinch-hitter Melvin Mora popped out and Brian Roberts ended it with a grounder to short.
Bautista hit his third homer since joining Toronto in a trade from Pittsburgh last month, a solo shot to left in the first. Baltimore went ahead in the fifth when Litsch walked the bases load and Alex Cintron hit a two-run single.
Toronto put runners at second and third with one out in the bottom half, but came up empty when Bautista popped out and Alex Rios grounded out.
The Blue Jays reclaimed the lead in the sixth. Adam Lind reached on a fielder's choice and Lyle Overbay hit a two-out single, chasing Orioles left-hander Garret Olson. Right-hander Jim Miller came on to face Zaun and advanced both runners with a wild pitch before Zaun hit his double into the right field corner. Zaun was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple, with Cintron relaying Nick Markakis' throw to Aubrey Huff at third.
Toronto had a chance for an insurance run in the seventh, when Marco Scutaro doubled and Rios drew a two-out walk, but Vernon Wells flied out.
Olson (9-9) lost for the third time in four starts, giving up three runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander was coming off the shortest outing of his career, allowing six runs in 2-3 of an inning in a 12-6 loss to Minnesota last Sunday.
Notes: Blue Jays RHP Shaun Marcum won't pitch again this season after undergoing an MRI on Thursday. The results have been sent to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion and an update on Marcum's condition is expected Friday. ... An MRI on Toronto C Rod Barajas revealed a slight tear in his hamstring. He is day-to-day. ... Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said he would "think about adding some years" to RHP A.J. Burnett's contract. Burnett, who can opt out of the final two years of his deal after the season, has won a career-high 18 games. ... Baltimore RHP Daniel Cabrera (strained elbow) won't pitch again this year. Cabrera underwent his second MRI in a month Thursday, revealing no damage. ... Bautista hit 12 homers for the Pirates.