Reimold's homer lifts Orioles over Blue Jays 6-4
TORONTO (AP) The Baltimore Orioles didn't score a single run in either the eighth or ninth inning of their first six games. The past two days in Toronto, however, they've started making a habit of it.
Nolan Reimold hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth and the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 6-4 on Saturday for their second straight comeback win.
"It's not how many hits you get all the time, it's when you get them and when guys are on base," Reimold said. "The last two games we've been able to do that late in the game."
Wilson Betemit tied it with a solo homer in the eighth and Chris Davis also went deep for the Orioles, who won their second consecutive game at Rogers Centre. Coming into the series, Baltimore was 5-29 in Toronto dating to 2008 and had not won a series north of the border since June of that year.
"Every question seems to be prefaced with how we've struggled here before," Reimold said. "It's good to come in here and have some close ballgames where we do the little things that you've got to do to get the win."
Betemit's go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning Friday night rallied Baltimore to a 7-5 victory that snapped a three-game skid.
"There's a lot of good karma around our club," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There has been since spring training started."
Kelly Johnson homered for the Blue Jays, but the bullpen blew another late lead. Toronto relievers have blown four saves this season and are responsible for three of the team's four defeats.
Betemit tied it at 4 with a shot to right off Casey Janssen in the eighth. Reimold hit a towering drive to left off Francisco Cordero (0-1), his second homer of the season and second ninth-inning shot in two days.
"The home run (Reimold) hit was a hit-and-run," Showalter said. "We're going to change that sign to hit-and-trot. He's been in a good spot."
Davis led off the ninth with a single that hit Cordero on the upper right thigh and was replaced by pinch-runner Ryan Flaherty. Roberto Andino struck out but Reimold followed with his homer, Baltimore's sixth in the past two games.
When he connected, Reimold wasn't sure his drive was going to stay fair. He soon saw it would.
"It was straight enough and I knew it had the distance," he said. "It was a good feeling rounding the bases after that."
Baltimore right-hander Jason Hammel, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his season debut against Minnesota last Sunday, didn't keep the Blue Jays in check for long. Toronto's second batter, Johnson, tied it by homering to left in the first.
The Blue Jays took the lead with a run in the second, but could have had more. Eric Thames doubled, moved to third on Brett Lawrie's single and scored on a base hit by Colby Rasmus, who was forced at second on J.P. Arencibia's grounder.
Yunel Escobar walked to load the bases and Kelly Johnson struck out, bringing up Jose Bautista, who fell behind 0-2 before Lawrie broke for home plate. Hammel stepped off and fired a high throw to Wieters, who blocked the plate with his feet and tagged the sliding Lawrie for the third out.
"If we don't have a 6-foot-5 catcher, it may have worked," Showalter said.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Lawrie, who was later thrown out trying to steal second, was guilty of "youthful exuberance."
"We have to continue to educate the game situations," Farrell said. "When a pitcher is in a prolonged inning, when you're running up a pitch count, you don't want to give away an out on the basepaths, particularly early in the game when you've got a chance to put a crooked number on the board."
Hammel called the play "a big spot in the game."
"I was surprised," Hammel said. "It was more of a thank you. With Bautista up there and the bases loaded, that's kind of a favor to me for him to try and steal home."
Baltimore reclaimed the lead in the fourth on Davis' first homer of the season, a two-run shot to right that ended a streak of nine straight solo homers by Orioles batters.
Toronto answered in the sixth against reliever Matt Lindstrom. Adam Lind hit a one-out double and Edwin Encarnacion reached on Betemit's error at third base, putting runners at the corners for Thames, who tied it with a sacrifice fly. Lawrie walked and Rasmus followed with an RBI single, giving him his first multihit game of the season.
Janssen replaced Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez in the eighth but failed to hold the lead, allowing a two-out drive to right by Betemit, his first.
Hammel allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. Alvarez gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings.
NOTES: Toronto closer Sergio Santos (paternity leave) will rejoin the roster Sunday and LHP Aaron Laffey will be optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Orioles LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow) pitched six shutout innings in an extended spring training game. He allowed two hits, walked five and struck out seven. Wada is tentatively scheduled to pitch again Thursday in a start for Triple-A Norfolk. ... Showalter said Wieters will likely get his first day off this season in Sunday's series finale. Baltimore LHP Brian Matusz (0-1) faces Toronto RHP Kyle Drabek (1-0).
Updated April 15, 2012