|Baltimore (48-50) «||0||0||3||0||3||0||0||2||x||8||9||0|
Manager Dave Trembley wanted to be sure Adam Jones had recovered from an ankle injury that forced the center fielder to miss Sunday's game. Jones insisted he was all right, and after proving it during batting practice was inserted into the starting lineup.
The move paid off for the Orioles, who got two important hits from Jones in an 8-3 victory.
Jones homered in the third inning, then legged out an infield single in a three-run fifth -- one day after being sidelined with a swollen right ankle.
"He was determined to play tonight," Trembley said of Jones. "He's 22 years old. I think he's got a great mind-set. Other than his ability and his tools and everything, the guy's got his head on right."
Jones went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and scored twice. He has reached base safely in 20 straight games, going 29-for-78 (.372) with 15 RBIs.
As he ate heartily from the postgame spread, Jones had a huge ice pack wrapped around his tender ankle.
"I wanted to play (Sunday) but I treated it as an off day," he said. "It didn't hurt (Monday). It felt just like a normal day. It didn't hurt at all."
Ramon Hernandez homered for the Orioles, who climbed out of last place in the AL East ahead of Toronto.
Baltimore went up 6-3 in the fifth against Jesse Litsch (8-7). After Brian Roberts doubled with one out, Jones hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop and beat the throw from David Eckstein.
"It gave us an extra out," Trembley said.
With two outs, Aubrey Huff walked to load the bases for Melvin Mora, who chased Litsch with a two-run single up the middle.
"A couple of balls left over the middle and they capitalized on it," Litsch said, "especially with runners in scoring position."
Litsch allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings and fell to 1-6 since May 29.
"He made a couple of mistakes tonight and he paid for it. If he'd get that last out (in the third) instead of having that two-run homer hit against him, we come back into the dugout even," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "I know he's trying hard. Too hard? I don't know. He's just got to make the pitches."
After Litsch left, Luke Scott greeted Brandon League with a run-scoring single, his seventh RBI in five games since the All-Star break.
Hernandez hit a two-run shot in the eighth against Jason Frasor. Only two of his 10 home runs have come with runners on base.
Baltimore rookie Radhames Liz (4-2) gave up three runs, five hits and six walks in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 89 pitches, less than half of them for strikes.
"His ball-strike ratio obviously is not going to get him by at this level. He's going to get burned at some point in time because these guys are too good of hitters," Trembley said. "They are going to make you pay for those walks."
Toronto got a second-inning run when Lyle Overbay drew a leadoff walk and scored on a single by Scott Rolen.
Baltimore went up 3-1 in the third. Kevin Millar singled and took third on a double by Hernandez before Brandon Fahey drove in a run with a grounder and Jones hit an opposite-field shot into the seats in right.
An RBI double by Alex Rios and a sacrifice fly by Rod Barajas brought the Blue Jays even in the fifth.
|Players of the Game|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Joe Inglett, RF||5||0||1||0||0||1||2||.296|
|Marco Scutaro, 2B||3||1||2||0||2||0||0||.265|
|Alex Rios, CF||5||0||1||1||0||1||5||.284|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||3||1||1||0||2||2||1||.273|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.256|
|Matt Stairs, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.243|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||2||0||1||1||2||0||0||.270|
|Adam Lind, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.261|
|David Eckstein, SS||2||1||0||0||2||0||2||.266|
|2B - Alex Rios (27, Liz)|
|SF - Rod Barajas (1)|
|RBI - Alex Rios (43), Rod Barajas (30), Scott Rolen (30)|
|SB - Alex Rios (25, 3rd base off Liz/Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|DP - Scutaro-Eckstein-Overbay|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Jesse Litsch (L,8-7)||4.2||7||6||6||2||1||1||4.46|
|WP - Jason Frasor (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 80-53, Brandon League 28-14, Jason Frasor 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 9-4, Brandon League 4-1, Jason Frasor 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 23, Brandon League 9, Jason Frasor 5|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.291|
|Adam Jones, CF||4||2||2||2||0||0||1||.282|
|Nick Markakis, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.293|
|Aubrey Huff, DH||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.283|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||4||0||2||2||0||0||0||.243|
|Luke Scott, LF||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.266|
|Kevin Millar, 1B||3||2||1||0||1||0||3||.244|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||4||2||2||2||0||1||1||.247|
|Brandon Fahey, SS||3||0||0||1||1||1||0||.230|
|2B - Brian Roberts (37, Litsch), Ramon Hernandez (13, Litsch)|
|HR - Adam Jones (6, Litsch), Ramon Hernandez (10, Frasor)|
|RBI - Adam Jones 2 (43), Melvin Mora 2 (57), Luke Scott (41), Ramon Hernandez 2 (41), Brandon Fahey (11)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Jones 2 (23), Melvin Mora 2 (21), Luke Scott (16)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Millar|
|Radhames Liz (W,4-2)||5.2||5||3||3||6||4||0||7.19|
|Dennis Sarfate (H,3)||0.1||1||0||0||1||0||0||4.03|
|Chad Bradford (H,15)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.45|
|Jim Johnson (H,17)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1.95|
|IBB - Overbay by Radhames Liz|
|Pitches-Strikes - Radhames Liz 89-44, Dennis Sarfate 10-5, Chad Bradford 11-8, Jim Johnson 13-7, Randor Bierd 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Radhames Liz 4-8, Chad Bradford 2-0, Jim Johnson 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Radhames Liz 27, Dennis Sarfate 3, Chad Bradford 3, Jim Johnson 4, Randor Bierd 4|
|Attendance - 12772|
|Game Time - 2:41|
|Temperature - 97|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|