|Baltimore (68-91) «||0||2||2||0||0||2||1||1||x||8||13||2|
BALTIMORE -- With the tying run on second base, Luis Hernandez would have been delighted with a single.
Starting at shortstop for Miguel Tejada, the light-hitting rookie is best known for his play in the field. On this night, however, he played the role of slugger.
Jay Payton and J.R. House also homered for the Orioles, who blew a four-run lead before coming back.
Toronto led 5-4 before Hernandez hit a two-run drive off Brian Tallet (2-4). It was his 14th home run in six professional seasons and first in 62 big league at-bats.
"I just tried to hit the ball hard so he can score from second, and I hit the ball very good," Hernandez said. "But I never thought it would go that far."
Tejada added a run-scoring grounder in the seventh, and House led off the eighth with his second big league home run. But no hit was more important than the one by Hernandez, who smiled broadly upon being presented the home-run ball at his locker.
"It was good for him and good for the team," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "It was a big hit in the game. It changed the momentum back in our favor. We've seen just about everything these last 35 or 40 games, so it was nice to get something favorable to look at."
Jim Hoey (3-4) got the win despite allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings. Jamie Walker worked the final two innings for his seventh save.
John-Ford Griffin had two RBI and scored twice for the Blue Jays, whose three-game winning streak ended.
"We were down early but battled back, then coughed it up," lamented Toronto manager John Gibbons.
Blue Jays starter Josh Banks, who grew up in the Baltimore area and had his own cheering section at Camden Yards, gave up five runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings in his first major league start.
"First start, it was all right. I left a couple balls up," Banks said. "But all I can do is build off of it, and hopefully I'll get another chance to start down the road."
Gibbons liked what he saw.
"He's a very composed kid. He can throw strikes," the manager said. "He just has to learn the hitters a little bit. He had a nice, solid year down at Triple-A for a team that wasn't very good. But he handled himself very well out there."
Pitching for the first time since Sept. 9 after being sidelined with a strained muscle in his rib cage, Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed three runs and six hits in five gritty innings. The rookie left with a one-run lead, but was not involved in the decision.
"It was very satisfying to be out there," he said. "I enjoy pitching. It's just nice to end the season pitching healthy versus having to walk off the field with an injury."
Guthrie went 0-2 over his last nine starts and finished 7-5 with a 3.70 ERA.
The Blue Jays didn't get a runner past first base until the fifth inning, when they batted around and closed to 4-3. Griffin doubled in a run, Curtis Thigpen hit an RBI single and Ray Olmedo hit a run-scoring grounder.
Baltimore's lead vanished in the sixth. Aaron Hill greeted Hoey with a double, took third on a grounder and scored when Payton, anticipating a play at the plate on Hill, dropped a sinking liner to left by Griffin. Payton was given an error and Griffin was credited with a sacrifice fly.
Griffin took second on a single, moved up on a passed ball and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
But the Blue Jays gave away the lead, just as the Orioles did after going up 4-0 in the third.
Payton made it 2-0 in the second inning with a drive to left after Aubrey Huff hit a leadoff double. It was Payton's sixth homer of the season, the first since July 18.
Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly and Payton hit a run-scoring single in the third.
Hill extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying his career high. ... Baltimore improved to 33-36 against AL East teams.
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Russ Adams, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.232|
|a- John McDonald, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.253|
|Matt Stairs, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.288|
|Alex Rios, CF||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.296|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||0||2||0||0||0||3||.276|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||2||.290|
|Adam Lind, LF||3||1||1||0||0||1||1||.237|
|b- Reed Johnson, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.237|
|John-Ford Griffin, RF||2||2||1||2||0||0||0||.500|
|c- Hector Luna, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.219|
|Curtis Thigpen, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.232|
|Ray Olmedo, SS||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.217|
|a-grounded out for R. Adams in the 9th|
|b-popped out for Lind in the 8th|
|c-grounded out for Griffin in the 8th|
|2B - Aaron Hill (46, Hoey), John-Ford Griffin (1, Guthrie)|
|SF - John-Ford Griffin (1)|
|SH - Russ Adams (1)|
|RBI - John-Ford Griffin 2 (2), Curtis Thigpen (11), Ray Olmedo (1)|
|CS - Aaron Hill (3, 2nd base by Guthrie/Bako)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Brian Tallet (BS,3; L,2-4)||0.2||3||2||2||0||1||1||3.54|
|IBB - Huff by Brian Wolfe|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Banks 81-57, Brian Tallet 21-13, Brian Wolfe 20-10, Joe Kennedy 8-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Banks 6-9, Brian Wolfe 2-0, Joe Kennedy 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Josh Banks 25, Brian Tallet 5, Brian Wolfe 6, Joe Kennedy 2|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.290|
|Tike Redman, CF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.319|
|Nick Markakis, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Miguel Tejada, DH||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.298|
|Aubrey Huff, 1B||3||2||2||0||1||0||0||.279|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||3||0||0||1||0||1||3||.275|
|Jay Payton, LF||4||2||3||3||0||0||2||.255|
|Paul Bako, C||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.205|
|a- J.R. House, PH-C||2||1||1||1||0||1||0||.206|
|Luis Hernandez, SS||4||1||2||2||0||1||0||.306|
|a-struck out for Bako in the 6th|
|2B - Aubrey Huff 2 (33, Banks, Banks)|
|HR - Jay Payton (6, Banks), J.R. House (2, Wolfe), Luis Hernandez (1, Tallet)|
|SF - Melvin Mora (5)|
|RBI - Miguel Tejada (79), Melvin Mora (56), Jay Payton 3 (54), J.R. House (2), Luis Hernandez 2 (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jay Payton (26), Luis Hernandez 2 (5)|
|SB - Jay Payton (5, 2nd base off Tallet/Thigpen)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|PB - Paul Bako (8)|
|E - Luis Hernandez (2, Missed catch of throw), Jay Payton (7, Dropped fly)|
|Jim Hoey (BS,3; W,3-4)||1.2||2||2||1||0||1||0||7.83|
|Chad Bradford (H,19)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.39|
|Jamie Walker (S,7)||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.23|
|WP - Jim Hoey (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 80-48, Jim Hoey 34-23, Chad Bradford 3-3, Jamie Walker 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 11-1, Jim Hoey 2-3, Jamie Walker 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 22, Jim Hoey 8, Chad Bradford 2, Jamie Walker 6|
|Attendance - 15817|
|Game Time - 2:41|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Jim Reynolds|