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Toronto at Baltimore

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Toronto (67-86)000000010180
Baltimore (88-66) «00021100x4100

Jones homers, goes 4 for 4 in O's win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones has waited his entire career to be in a pennant race, and he's making the most of it.

Jones went 4 for 4 with a homer and two RBI, and the Baltimore Orioles moved within a half-game of the AL East lead with a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in the opener of a doubleheader.

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Ryan Flaherty hit a solo shot for the Orioles, who matched the division-leading New York Yankees in the win column (88). New York was scheduled to play at Minnesota on Monday night.

The victory also solidified Baltimore's grasp on the top AL wild-card slot over Oakland.

Jones' four hits tied a career high. He has hit safely in 18 of 22 games in September, with six home runs and 13 RBI.

"Adam relishes competition," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's obviously had a heck of a year. He's turning into quite a player."

Asked if Jones deserves consideration for AL MVP, Showalter replied, "This team, we haven't really thought about that type of stuff yet. That will be fodder when our work's done here."

Now in his seventh season, Jones has already set a career high with 32 homers, and his two runs scored put him over 100 for the first time. After enjoying his fifth multi-RBI game this month, the All-Star center fielder needs to drive in three more runs to eclipse his previous high of 83, set last year.

Orioles rookie Steve Johnson (4-0) allowed three hits over five shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.62. Half his big league wins have come against Toronto.

Although the Jays got two runners on base in three of the first four innings, Johnson worked out of trouble on each occasion.

"When you do that, you have to make a pitch in there, just bear down, throw a few pitches, make sure they don't make good contact on it," he said.

Jim Johnson, the fifth Baltimore pitcher, worked the ninth for his 48th save in 51 opportunities.

It was the seventh straight loss for the Blue Jays, matching a season high. Toronto has been outscored 46-17 during the skid, which began during a three-trip to Yankee Stadium and continued in Tampa Bay.

"We can't run from what's taking place, and yet we have to continue to battle," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

Henderson Alvarez (9-14) gave up four runs, eight hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He's 2-7 in his last 10 starts.

Speaking through an interpreter, Alvarez addressed the two homers he yielded by saying, "Pitch to Jones was high changeup. He's a good hitter and he did what he was supposed to do with that pitch. The other kid, the second baseman, [I] felt like it was a good pitch and he did a good job with it."

In the fourth, Chris Davis walked and Jones followed with a drive to left to put Baltimore up 2-0. Flaherty connected in the fifth, and Jones singled in the sixth and came home on a double-play grounder.

Toronto scored in the eighth on an RBI double by Rajai Davis. With runners on second and third and two outs, Darren O'Day came in to strike out Kelly Johnson.

Notes

  • Toronto purchased the contracts of RHPs Shawn Hill and Bobby Korecky and transferred LHP J.A. Happ (foot) to the 60-day DL.
  • Orioles LHP Randy Wolf is experiencing discomfort in his left elbow and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
  • Seventeen of Jones' HRs have given the Orioles the lead. Baltimore is 23-8 when he homers.
  • Toronto has lost six straight in Baltimore during a single season for the first time since 1980, and the Orioles won the season series for the first time since 2004.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Adam Jones (right) homers and matches a career-high with four hits in the Orioles' victory against the Blue Jays. (Getty Images)
Adam Jones (right) homers and matches a career-high with four hits in the Orioles' victory against the Blue Jays. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

A. Jones
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Baltimore

S. Johnson
IP 5.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 3
K 6
 
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brett Lawrie, 3B3010110 .274
Colby Rasmus, CF2000210 .226
Edwin Encarnacion, DH4110034 .280
Adam Lind, 1B4020002 .238
Rajai Davis, RF4011013 .243
Kelly Johnson, 2B4010012 .225
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS3010000 .252
    J.P. Arencibia, C1010000 .223
Jeff Mathis, C2000012 .216
   a- Yunel Escobar, PH-SS2000011 .254
Anthony Gose, LF4000022 .213
Totals33181311  
a-struck out for Mathis in the 7th
Batting
2B - Rajai Davis (23, Hunter)
RBI - Rajai Davis (39)
2-OUT RBI - Rajai Davis (19)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Colby Rasmus 1
DP - Hechavarria-Johnson-Lind, Hechavarria-Johnson-Lind
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Henderson Alvarez (L,9-14) 5.2844362 4.91
Brett Cecil 0.2100000 5.40
Jason Frasor 0.2000020 3.35
Chad Beck 1100010 5.84
IBB - Thome by Henderson Alvarez
WP - Jason Frasor (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Henderson Alvarez 89-52, Brett Cecil 8-5, Jason Frasor 9-6, Chad Beck 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Henderson Alvarez 7-1, Brett Cecil 1-1, Chad Beck 1-0
Batters Faced - Henderson Alvarez 25, Brett Cecil 3, Jason Frasor 2, Chad Beck 3
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nate McLouth, LF4020020 .240
J.J. Hardy, SS4010012 .232
Chris Davis, RF3110122 .264
    Endy Chavez, RF0000000 .208
Adam Jones, CF4242000 .292
Matt Wieters, C4010010 .251
Jim Thome, DH2000200 .250
Mark Reynolds, 1B3000022 .228
Ryan Flaherty, 2B3111013 .226
    Robert Andino, 2B0000000 .211
Manny Machado, 3B3000000 .262
Totals30410339  
Batting
2B - Matt Wieters (27, Alvarez)
HR - Adam Jones (32, Alvarez), Ryan Flaherty (5, Alvarez)
RBI - Adam Jones 2 (81), Ryan Flaherty (14)
SB - Nate McLouth (10, 2nd base off Frasor/Arencibia), Adam Jones (15, 2nd base off Beck/Arencibia)
CS - Adam Jones (7, 3rd base by Beck/Arencibia)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Flaherty-Reynolds, Hardy-Andino-Reynolds
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Steve Johnson (W,4-0) 5300360 1.62
Troy Patton (H,9) 1100000 2.50
Tommy Hunter 1.2311030 5.58
Darren O'Day (H,12) 0.1000010 2.35
Jim Johnson (S,48) 1100010 2.60
Pitches-Strikes - Steve Johnson 96-60, Troy Patton 12-6, Tommy Hunter 38-26, Darren O'Day 4-3, Jim Johnson 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Steve Johnson 3-6, Troy Patton 1-1, Tommy Hunter 1-1, Jim Johnson 1-0
Batters Faced - Steve Johnson 21, Troy Patton 3, Tommy Hunter 8, Darren O'Day 1, Jim Johnson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 0
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Brian O'Nora