Guthrie pitches a gem as O’s take series opener at Toronto

Reversing a recent stretch where he had not pitched that well, Jeremy Guthrie shut down the Toronto Blue Jays tonight in the Orioles 2-0 win at Rogers Centre in game one of the three-game weekend series.

Guthrie had given up seven runs in his last start against Tampa Bay and worked to an ERA of 5.50 in his last six starts. But tonight, he pitched seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball with three walks and five strikeouts. He threw 104 pitches and is now 7-17 with an ERA of 4.29.

When he reached the 5 2/3 innings mark tonight, it put Guthrie at exactly 1,000 innings pitched in his career. He became the 1,150th pitcher all-time to do that and the 72nd active to have that many innings.

The Orioles bullpen recorded two more scoreless innings as Pedro Strop pitched the eighth and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his fourth save. The bullpen has now put up 15 1/3 shutout innings over the last four games.

The Orioles held Toronto to three hits in pitching their seventh shutout of the season.

The Orioles broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth. Vlad Guerrero made it a 1-0 game on a two-out, RBI single off lefty Brett Cecil. Over his past 27 games, Guerrero is batting .327 with 11 doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs.

The Orioles made it 2-0 in the eighth. Ryan Adams led off with a single, went to third on J.J. Hardy’s single and scored on a Nick Markakis groundout, as he beat the throw to first ahead of a potential inning-ending double play.

The Orioles have now won three in a row after a stretch of eight losses in 10 games and they are 58-85 on the year. Toronto falls to 72-73. The Orioles improve to 6-10 on the season against the Blue Jays.

In Saturday afternoon’s game that begins at 1:07, Rick VandenHurk (0-0, 2.45) pitches against righy Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.95).

In the minors Friday night, Potomac blanked Frederick 8-0 to even their playoff series at one win each in the best-of-five series. In game three, Saturday at Potomac at 6:35 p.m. right-hander Scott Copeland (3-2, 2.14) pitches for the Keys against lefty Evan Bronson (5-5, 3.64).

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