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Toronto at Baltimore

W: S. Johnson (2-0) L: B. Morrow (7-5)
HR: TOR - E. Encarnacion (34)   BAL - J. Hardy (17)

Orioles 8, Blue Jays 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles have matched their win total of last year, and they've still got 36 games left to play.

It's an impressive accomplishment -- and one that barely caused a ripple in the clubhouse.

J.J. Hardy homered and scored three runs, rookie Steve Johnson allowed four hits over six innings and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Saturday night for their 14th win in 20 games.

Hardy, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters each had two RBI for the Orioles (69-57), who are in the thick of the AL wild-card chase and only four games out of first place in the AL East after going 69-93 in 2011.

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Asked if he ever took a moment to consider what it means to match last year's win total on Aug. 25, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter quickly said, "No."

"I don't think you're going to find anybody in that locker room who knows that unless you tell them," Showalter said. "I think if someone had told us that was going to be the benchmark this year, they'd ask, 'Who says that?' Our guys, from Day 1 in spring training, have a loftier goal than having a better record than last year."

The Orioles are also beyond simply trying to end their run of 14 straight losing seasons. Now, it's about reaching the postseason. Period.

"We're in a good position," first baseman Mark Reynolds said. "We're still in the wild-card hunt. It's going to be tight coming down the stretch. If we stay focused on the little things, the big things will take care of themselves."

Jones, whose two-run single in the fifth inning put the Orioles ahead for good, said, "The 69 wins is a product of playing good baseball and competitive baseball on a daily basis. We've got 36 games to go. Let's see our record after 36 games."

Johnson (2-0) gave up two runs, struck out seven and walked two in his second big-league start. The right-hander has 23 strikeouts over 17 innings in five appearances.

"I can't really explain it," he said of his strikeout total.

Toronto lost its seventh straight, and the bad news didn't stop there. Right fielder Jose Bautista left in the third inning with discomfort in his left wrist, just one night after being activated from the disabled list. Bautista was sidelined for 5½ weeks with inflammation in that same wrist.

He was put back on the DL following the game. The slugger will see a hand specialist on Sunday, manager John Farrell said.

"In the meantime, we felt we had to put him on the disabled list," Farrell said.

Toronto also put first baseman David Cooper (back strain) on the DL, activated Adam Lind (back) from the disabled list and recalled infielder Adeiny Hechavarria from Triple-A Las Vegas.

The Blue Jays fell 14 games under .500 (56-70) for the first time since Sept. 25, 2009 (70-84). By dropping the first two games of the three-game set, Toronto has lost six straight series.

Edwin Encarnacion hit his 34th home run in the Blue Jays' season-high eighth straight defeat on the road.

Pitching in the majors for the first time since June 11 following a stint on the disabled list with an oblique strain, Toronto starter Brandon Morrow (7-5) allowed four runs, two earned, and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Toronto bolted to a 2-0 lead in the first. After Mike McCoy was thrown out trying to steal, Bautista drew a two-out walk and Encarnacion hit a 2-2 pitch into the left-field seats -- his third homer in five games and fifth over a 12-game span.

Morrow struck out three of the first five batters he faced before the Orioles loaded the bases with two outs in the second for rookie Manny Machado, who struck out.

Baltimore pulled even with two unearned runs in the third. Nick Markakis scored from second when shortstop Yunel Escobar let a potential double-play grounder skip past him, and Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly.

After Jones singled in two runs in the fifth, Hardy hit a two-run drive off Chad Jenkins in the sixth and Wieters added an RBI single for a 7-2 lead.

Machado drove in a seventh-inning run with a single. He had two hits, matching his total over the previous six games.


Before the game, RHP Mike Mussina and 2B Rich Dauer were inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame. ... Slumping Colby Rasmus was supposed to have a day off but entered in the third inning for Bautista. Rasmus went 0 for 3 and has three hits in his last 42 at-bats. ... Wieters threw out three would-be base stealers. It's the 14th time an Orioles catcher has performed the feat, the first since Mickey Tettleton in 1988. ... Escobar doubled in the seventh to end a 7-for-47 skid. It was his second extra-base hit in 22 games. ... Baltimore has been outscored 76-48 in the first inning this season.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Hardy
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 1

E. Encarnacion
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

January 19, 2017
2017 Team Outlook: Toronto Blue Jays (1:28)
Toronto Blue Jays
Rajai Davis, LF4010001 .252
Mike McCoy, CF-RF4010011 .229
Jose Bautista, RF0100100 .241
    Colby Rasmus, CF3000030 .232
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B3112110 .293
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000011 .222
Yunel Escobar, SS3010011 .246
Moises Sierra, DH3000031 .283
Omar Vizquel, 3B3020000 .220
Jeff Mathis, C3000011 .216
2B - Yunel Escobar (14, Ayala), Omar Vizquel (2, Ayala)
HR - Edwin Encarnacion (34, S. Johnson)
RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 2 (88)
2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 2 (27)
CS - Rajai Davis (10, 2nd base by S. Johnson/Wieters), Mike McCoy (1, 2nd base by S. Johnson/Wieters), Omar Vizquel (2, 2nd base by S. Johnson/Wieters)
Team LOB - 3
Outfield Assists - Mike McCoy 1
PB - Jeff Mathis (6)
E - Yunel Escobar (10, Misplayed grounder), Jeff Mathis (2, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Morrow (L,7-5) 4.2642170 3.06
Aaron Loup0100000 2.21
Chad Jenkins 3.1644211 4.50
HBP - Davis (by Brandon Morrow)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 88-56, Aaron Loup 3-2, Chad Jenkins 53-32
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 1-7, Chad Jenkins 1-7
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 23, Aaron Loup 1, Chad Jenkins 17
Baltimore Orioles
Nick Markakis, RF5220002 .294
J.J. Hardy, SS5332011 .232
Nate McLouth, LF4100124 .195
Adam Jones, CF5012001 .290
Matt Wieters, C4012031 .237
Chris Davis, DH3010012 .256
Mark Reynolds, 1B3120100 .222
Ryan Flaherty, 2B3010103 .211
    Robert Andino, 2B0000000 .218
Manny Machado, 3B4121013 .259
2B - J.J. Hardy (23, Morrow)
HR - J.J. Hardy (17, Jenkins)
SF - Matt Wieters (3)
RBI - J.J. Hardy 2 (52), Adam Jones 2 (65), Matt Wieters 2 (65), Manny Machado (9)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Wieters (22)
SB - Nate McLouth (5, 3rd base off Jenkins/Mathis)
Team LOB - 9
Baltimore Orioles
Steve Johnson (W,2-0) 6422271 3.18
Luis Ayala 2200010 2.77
Kevin Gregg 1000030 4.24
Pitches-Strikes - Steve Johnson 98-59, Luis Ayala 26-18, Kevin Gregg 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Steve Johnson 2-6, Luis Ayala 4-1
Batters Faced - Steve Johnson 21, Luis Ayala 8, Kevin Gregg 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25082
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Bill Miller