The Baltimore Orioles chased starter Kevin Gausman early in the game and used a six-run third inning to power their way to a 10-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon.
It was the shortest outing of the season for Gausman, who lasted 2 1/3 innings against his former team. Cedric Mullins had three of Baltimore’s 13 hits and Austin Hays homered as the Orioles (28-37) salvaged a split of the four-game series.
It was just the sixth loss in 21 games for the Blue Jays (37-26), who were stifled by Baltimore starter Tyler Wells (4-4) over his solid six-inning appearance.
Teoscar Hernandez hit his fifth homer of the season for Toronto. The Blue Jays had eight hits on the day.
Gausman (5-6) never really found a rhythm and seemed uncomfortable with some of the baseballs in the first inning. He rejected a few that were tossed to him and had a conversation with crew chief Paul Emmel during and after the frame.
The Orioles scratched out an early run after Mullins led off with a single, moved to third on an infield single and scored when Toronto couldn’t turn a double-play in time on an Adley Rutschman grounder.
After striking out a pair in the second inning, Gausman struggled mightily in the third. An error by Santiago Espinal led to two unearned runs and a Rougned Odor sacrifice fly was sandwiched by four hits, including three hard-hit doubles.
Reliever David Phelps also gave up an RBI single as the Orioles batted around in the inning. Gausman, who spent parts of six seasons with Baltimore, allowed seven hits, five earned runs, a walk and had three strikeouts.
Wells, meanwhile, allowed five hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out three. The 429-foot Hernandez solo shot was his only real hiccup.
Baltimore tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning against Jeremy Beasley and Hays hit a solo shot in the eighth off Matt Gage.
Several school groups were on hand for the matinee, boosting the announced attendance to 36,832. The game took two hours 58 minutes to play.
Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman was held out of the starting lineup Thursday due to a sore wrist. He missed three games with the same issue earlier this month.
Chapman homered Wednesday night for the second game in a row. He’s hitting .327 (17-for-52) with a .954 OPS over his last 14 games.
The first 15,000 fans at the stadium for the matinee received Hyun Jin Ryu replica jerseys. The veteran left-hander is out for the season due to an elbow ligament issue.
Ryu will need surgery and may not pitch for the Blue Jays again. He’s under contract through next year but a Tommy John procedure is a possibility, which could sideline Ryu through next season as well.
The Blue Jays will close out their seven-game homestand with a weekend series against the New York Yankees.
Right-hander Ross Stripling (3-1, 3.14) will start Friday night’s series opener against New York left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 2.70). Alek Manoah (8-1, 1.67) and Yusei Kikuchi (2-3, 4.80) are tabbed to start the final two games for Toronto.
Banner image: Baltimore Orioles centre-fielder Cedric Mullins (31) slides back into first base as Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) waits for the throw during first inning American League baseball action in Toronto on Thursday, June 16, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2022.