|Toronto (62-59) «||0||0||5||0||0||0||0||0||x||5||10||1|
TORONTO -- With gusty winds knocking down his curveball, A.J. Burnett turned to his change-up and stayed perfect against Baltimore.
Brian Roberts homered for Baltimore, which has lost five straight games at Rogers Centre.
Burnett (7-6) gave up two runs and three hits over 6 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out six while overcoming winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
"The wind was really pushing the hook down, so I went with the change-up tonight instead," Burnett said. "I have no idea why the roof was open -- no idea why it's open. It didn't affect too many things, it was just blowing in my face all night."
Burnett has gone 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in two starts since returning from the disabled list Aug. 12, after missing 37 games with a sore shoulder. He said he's been using the change-up more often.
"I have confidence in it," Burnett said. "Other days, when I'm feeling really good throwing 98, I probably wouldn't throw it as much. But it's good to have that pitch when your curveball is not getting over."
Burnett is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore.
"He's tough," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "Once he gets two strikes, he expands his strike zone."
Toronto won for the 12th time in 15 home games.
The Blue Jays gave Burnett all the help he would need with a five-run third in which 11 batters went to the plate.
"We're playing great baseball right now," Thomas said. "The pitching staff has been incredible. If we score four or five runs, we have a chance to win every night."
The homer was Thomas' first since Aug. 4 and ended a 49-inning drought for the Blue Jays. Toronto has hit just five home runs in August, tied with Minnesota for fewest in the American League.
Thomas finished 1-for-3 with two walks and is batting .321 with 19 RBI this month. He is five homers shy of tying Mel Ott (511) for 19th on baseball's career list.
"It's been a long season," Thomas said. "I'm not quitting. I've still got goals, I've still got things I've got to do personally to keep me focussed. I'm one of these guys that always feels I should drive in 100 runs every year. If that's one of those things that keeps me focused, I'm going to stay there."
Making just his fourth major league start, Olson (1-2) allowed five runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.
"He's not showing command of strike one," Trembley said. "He's getting behind. You pitch behind, this is a veteran team here, and you're going to get hurt."
Roberts hit a solo home run in the fifth.
After double-pumping because no one was covering second base, Hernandez hit pitcher Rob Bell in the ribs with his throw as he tried to catch John McDonald stealing on a pitchout in the fifth. Uninjured, Bell couldn't help but smile as he watched the replay on the center field scoreboard.
"It hit me like a midtown Manhattan ATM surcharge," Bell joked. "That stung quite a bit."
|Frank Thomas' shot breaks a 49-inning home run drought for the Blue Jays (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Brian Roberts, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||1||1||.312|
|Corey Patterson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.266|
|Nick Markakis, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.298|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.298|
|Kevin Millar, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.269|
|Aubrey Huff, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.265|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||1||2||.273|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.254|
|Jay Payton, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.255|
|HR - Brian Roberts (10, Burnett)|
|RBI - Brian Roberts (46), Ramon Hernandez (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ramon Hernandez (20)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|PB - Ramon Hernandez 2 (7)|
|E - Garrett Olson (2, Throwing)|
|Garrett Olson (L,1-2)||2.2||6||5||5||4||1||1||6.38|
|HBP - Johnson (by Garrett Olson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Olson 74-36, Rob Bell 58-33, Paul Shuey 43-22|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Olson 2-5, Rob Bell 1-5, Paul Shuey 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Garrett Olson 19, Rob Bell 13, Paul Shuey 10|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Reed Johnson, LF||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.267|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||4||1||1||0||1||1||4||.258|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||2||0||1||1||2||.313|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||1||2||1||1||1||2||.262|
|Frank Thomas, DH||3||1||1||3||2||0||2||.262|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||4||0||1||0||1||1||4||.255|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Curtis Thigpen, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.263|
|John McDonald, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.258|
|2B - Reed Johnson (9, Olson), Alex Rios (34, R. Bell)|
|HR - Frank Thomas (19, Olson)|
|RBI - Vernon Wells (69), Frank Thomas 3 (73)|
|SB - Alex Rios (12, 2nd base off R. Bell/Hernandez), John McDonald (6, 2nd base off R. Bell/Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|PB - Curtis Thigpen (1)|
|E - Vernon Wells (3, Dropped fly)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|A.J. Burnett (W,7-6)||6.1||3||2||2||3||6||1||4.01|
|Scott Downs (H,20)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.33|
|Casey Janssen (H,21)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.33|
|Jeremy Accardo (S,24)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.28|
|HBP - Millar (by Casey Janssen)|
|WP - A.J. Burnett (5), Scott Downs (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 106-62, Scott Downs 14-8, Casey Janssen 13-7, Jeremy Accardo 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 7-8, Scott Downs 2-0, Casey Janssen 1-1, Jeremy Accardo 1-1|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 27, Scott Downs 3, Casey Janssen 4, Jeremy Accardo 3|
|Attendance - 25524|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Chad Fairchild|