Kevin Gregg blew the save in the ninth by allowing the tying run, but the Blue Jays left the bases loaded.
"I try to dwell on some of the positives," manager Buck Showalter said. "A lot of guys would have let that inning get real big and away from him, and he held them to one run. He's had some real good outings for us against tough competition. Tonight was one where command wasn't as good, but he came back and got some big outs."
Perhaps the biggest came on Nick Markakis' diving catch in right to rob Yunel Escobar, who settled for a sacrifice fly that tied the game.
"I thought Nicky made the play of the ballgame, just a great play," Showalter said. "He may go unnoticed some. Just a great play in right field, probably the difference in the game if you want to get technical."
The game ended with Adams finding the gap in deep right-center field after he failed to produce in the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. Adams popped up, and the Orioles couldn't build on a 5-4 lead.
"Ryan's had some struggles his last few at-bats," Showalter said. "He was upset at his last at-bat. We could have made that a lot easier, with some of the people we had out there in situations.
"He'll be the first to tell you the ball he got jammed on with a man on third earlier, you keep grinding. This game lets you off the deck a little bit if you just keep pushing. He had a good, calm at-bat there, didn't let him take him out of the strike zone."
Robert Andino failed in two straight at-bats to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He fouled off a two-strike bunt in the 10th before Jake Fox's game-tying single.
"Robert was bunting on his own there at the end and we'll talk about that a little bit," Showalter said.
"Jake had a big hit. I don't want to forget that. That was huge."
The Orioles allowed the Blue Jays to pull off a double steal in the ninth by failing to cover second and third base. Showalter wouldn't reveal who was at fault.
"I know where it is but that's a blame game," he said. "I know you're curious about it. I know exactly what should have happened and didn't happen and it won't happen again, especially considering the people."
Orioles starters are 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA in their last eight games. They have six quality starts during that span. But Jeremy Guthrie had to settle for a no-decision after allowing three runs and six hits in six innings.
"His outing shouldn't go unnoticed. I wish we could have gotten a W for him," Showalter said.
"Jeremy does what he's capable of doing and he understands there are some things out of his control. We did a lot of good things to get him a lead when he exited, too. Keep that in mind. There were a lot of contributions made to get him to the point where he had the lead after the sixth inning."