A lead lost in Toronto (O’s lose 9-3)

Edwin Encarnacion is 3-for-20 lifetime against Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez. All three hits are home runs.

Is that weird?

Encarnacion has hit 24 home runs versus the Orioles, the most against any opponent.

Gonzalez took a shutout into the sixth before Encarnacion’s three-run shot. Now he’s out of the game and can’t get a win.

The Orioles didn’t have a quality start during their four-game series against the Red Sox, and they’re not getting one tonight.

Gonzalez struck out seven batters in 5 2/3 innings. Second baseman Steve Lombardozzi’s error to begin the bottom of the sixth turned out to be a killer.

This is the 12th time in 19 games that an Orioles starter has failed to complete six innings, and the fifth time in the last six outings. That’s not good, folks.

Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to break a scoreless tie. He isn’t just bullying the Red Sox.

Before Gonzalez’s hasty exit in the sixth, and the disintegration of a three-run lead, I was focused primarily on a backup catcher from Pigtown.

Steve Clevenger is 2-for-2 with a double and a walk off Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. His average has jumped from .214 to .313 with five hits in 16 at-bats. (Yeah, it’s still April). He’s got three doubles, a triple and four RBIs.

Believe it or not, it’s possible for a backup catcher to provide at least a little bit of a threat at the plate. Not just behind it.

Clevenger earned the job in spring training and the Orioles were smart to give him a chance, instead of plucking a castoff from the waiver wire who’s billed as a good catch-and-throw guy.


I’ve seen enough weak-hitting defensive specialists who really are nothing special behind the plate.

Going back to Lombardozzi, the error was brutal, but he has two more hits tonight and is batting .308. I like this guy. He can play a variety of positions and isn’t overmatched at the plate. He’s got some tools.

He’s head and shoulders above Alex Gonzalez at this stage of their careers. Nice trade by executive vice president Dan Duquette.

Update: Evan Meek hadn’t allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings before tonight. And then...

Brett Lawrie hit a three-run homer to center field in the bottom of the eighth to give Toronto a 6-3 lead.

The pitch was down, but over the plate, and Lawrie reached down and got it.

The Orioles lost a 5-0 lead in Boston and had trouble holding onto a 6-0 lead the following day. They were ahead 3-0 tonight.

It goes back to the starting pitching. Too much pressure applied to the bullpen.

Update II: Josh Stinson surrendered a three-run homer to Melky Cabrera in the eighth - see a pattern here? - and the Orioles lost to the Blue Jays 9-3 at Rogers Centre.

That one escalated quickly. A 3-0 lead disappeared in the blink of an eye, and the Jays piled on from there.

Lombardozzi had three hits tonight. Chris Davis drew a walk and has reached base in 18 straight games, the longest stretch of his career.

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