To say Baltimore has Toronto's number would be kind. Coming into tonight's game, the Blue Jays had lost to the Orioles 16 straight times at Memorial Stadium. Well, make that 17.
The Blue Jays managed but three singles off Mike Flanagan and surrendered, 4-0, before 7,726 fans.
Flanagan (2-2) gave Ray Miller, the O's 36-year-old pitching coach, a birthday present, becoming the first Baltimore pitcher to win two games. The hosts also won back-to-back games the first time this year.
The left-handed Flanagan allowed baserunners in five innings but never was in trouble. He struck out six, walked two.
"That's it. That's the 'groove' I always talk about," said Flanagan, who threw a four-hitter against Boston in his last start. "Last year, I was in the 'rut.' When you're in the groove, all you see is the catcher's mitt and all you think about is the sequence of pitches."
Ken Singleton, who came close to being only the fourth player in major league history to hit .500 for the month of April, gave Flanagan all the cushion he needed to beat the Blue Jays for the eighth consecutive time here with a solo home run off Jackson Todd in the first inning. Singleton grounded out to second twice and flied out deep to center with the bases full to finish the month with a league-leading .472 average.
Baltimore, 4-2 in its home stand and 7-8 overall, broke the game open with a three-run second inning. With one out, Terry Crowley walked. Dan Graham hit a perfect double play grounder to second baseman Damaso Garcia, who misplayed it for an error. Doug DeCinces singled Crowley home to make it 2-0. Left fielder Al Woods had a possible play on Crowley at home, but the ball was cut off by third baseman Danny Ainge.
The all-America basketball star from Brigham Young looked as if he were attempting a 25-footer when he threw the ball over Garcia's head trying to get DeCinces at second.The ball rolled into right center as Graham easily scored and DeCinces went to third. DeCinces held as Mark Belanger, still looking for his first hit at home (now 0 for 23) grounded out. Buy Al Bumbry lined a 1-1 pitch just inside the third base line to bring home DeCinces and give the O's a 4-0 lead.
In a high spot of the evening, Flanagan threw 15 pitches to Otto Velez in the seventh inning before the designated hitter finally skied deep to center.