TORONTO — The Baltimore Orioles came to Toronto this week riding the momentum of eight wins in their past 11 games and were fresh off taking two of three in Detroit.
That momentum was crushed over the weekend here at the Rogers Centre, and following the Orioles’ 13-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, the O’s couldn’t wait to get out their passports and get out of Canada.
After allowing a season-high in runs Sunday, the Orioles (42-34) were swept in a three-game series for just the second time this season and the first time on the road. The Blue Jays, playing in front of an announced sellout crowd of 45,214 — the Orioles’ largest road crowd of the season — won their 11th straight game, the longest winning streak in the majors this season.
“We’ve faced really hot clubs on the road and at home and we will again,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “We haven’t played half the season yet. Nothing is unexpected. You look at the track record of their players and that’s why you acquire guys like that, because you know what you’re going to get eventually. I think you’re seeing some of that happen.”
Right-hander Freddy Garcia lasted just 21 / 3 innings, the shortest outing by an Orioles starter this season. He was blasted for seven runs as the Blue Jays ran out to a 9-0 third-inning lead.
The Blue Jays’ surge up the AL East standings has made the division race tighter than ever.
By day’s end Sunday, the Orioles arrived home still in second place, two games back of the division-leading Red Sox, but all five teams in the AL East are now separated by just five games.
“It’s good for this division,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. “It has added even more competitiveness. Everybody is above .500, everybody is grinding. Let’s just see how all the cards fold in the next coming months. . . . It shows that this division is getting better. It’s heating up.”
The top three hitters in the Blue Jays lineup – Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion – combined to drive in nine runs. Eight of the nine Toronto starters had at least one hit.