BALTIMORE – Jonathan Schoop drove in two runs, Kevin Gausman pitched six effective innings and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Wednesday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Limited to seven runs in their first five home games of the season, the Orioles got off to another slow start before finally getting their slumbering offence on track.
Baltimore amassed 11 hits after the third inning, including two by Chris Davis, who entered with a .081 batting average.
Gausman (1-1) allowed three runs and six hits, walking three and striking out seven, to earn his first win in three starts.
Brad Brach worked the ninth for his third save.
Aledmys Diaz homered for the Blue Jays, who fell to 6-1 this season when scoring first. Toronto was also denied its first three-game road sweep since Aug. 21-23, 2016, against the Los Angeles Angels.
Marco Estrada (1-1) allowed four runs and six hits in four-plus innings. The right-hander was 7-1 in 13 starts against Baltimore, including 3-0 last year.
The Orioles totalled only two runs in the first two games of the series and were held hitless until the eighth inning on Tuesday night. In this one, Baltimore managed only a walk through three innings.
All that changed in the fourth. Manny Machado and Schoop hit successive doubles before Davis ended a 0-for-12 skid with an RBI single and Tim Beckham added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead.
Yangervis Solarte answered with a two-out RBI single in the Toronto fifth.
Baltimore benefited from its first challenge of the season to make it 4-2 in the bottom half. With runners on first and second, Machado lifted a fly ball that right fielder Randal Grichuk dived for and missed near the foul line. It was originally ruled a foul ball, but the umpires reversed the call to a single and Schoop followed with an RBI single that ended Estrada’s night.
After Diaz hit his third home run of the season in the sixth, rookie Chance Sisco restored the two-run cushion with an RBI single in the Baltimore half.
Blue Jays: 1B Kendrys Morales, who went on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained right hamstring, hit off a tee Wednesday.
Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) was removed from his rehabilitation assignment after playing just one game with Double-A Bowie on Tuesday night. Trumbo “just didn’t feel like pushing it. He still wasn’t comfortable with it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I applaud him for being frank with us.”
HERE AND GONE
The Orioles optioned top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey to Bowie and recalled INF Engelb Vielma from Triple-A Norfolk. Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, spent two days in Baltimore as a potential long reliever but was not needed. Thus, his big league debut will occur at a later date.
Blue Jays: After taking Thursday off, Toronto calls upon Marcus Stroman (0-1, 8.38 ERA) to launch a three-game series in Cleveland.
Orioles: Following Thursday off, Baltimore sends Chris Tillman (0-2, 8.68) to the mound in the opener of a four-game series in Boston.