Jim Johnson was pitching for the third day in a row. He got a win here Monday, throwing 14 pitches against Toronto and a save last night, throwing 13.
Today, after getting the last out of the 10th, he quickly got the first two outs of the 11th. But two singles and a hit batter followed. Then a bases-loaded walk on four pitches to Maicer Izturis put Toronto ahead and the Blue Jays won 6-5 over the Orioles.
Buck Showalter was hoping he didn’t have to use him today. But he did. Johnson said pitching for the third day in a row is no excuse.
“No, I’ve done it many times before,” he said after suffering his second loss of the year. “I just lost the feel. I wasn’t able to get back on top of the baseball. It started with the (Brett) Lawrie at-bat. Talked to (Taylor Teagarden) about it afterwards. Hindsight is 20-20, but I probably should have thrown another pitch to try and change something up. In that situation I tried to throw my best pitch.
“Had a hard time throwing a strike. Kind of lost the feel, that’s a terrible way to lose a game.”
The Orioles failed to get a sweep, but they did win all three series on this homestand, going 6-3 as they now head to the West Coast.
“When you can win a series, especially in your division, we’ll take it,” Johnson said. “It’s not going to dampen our spirits. We’ll go out west and look to continue playing good ball. This team fights for everything we get. We fight for every out and it will continue to be that way.”
Meanwhile, right-hander Josh Stinson, who was optioned back to Triple-A after the game, made his O’s debut today, allowing five runs and four homers over 5 2/3 innings.
“Take away four pitches and it’s real good,” he said. “Two of them were sinkers I was trying go away with and they ran back over the plate. The one to (Jose) Bautista was just a bad pitch. I feel like after giving up the homers I came back and still battled.
“Buck told me I’m going to go back to Norfolk, so go down there and get some work in.”
J.J. Hardy almost won this game for the Orioles with a single in the last of the 10th, but Rajai Davis threw Manny Machado out at the plate to send the game to the 11th.
“It was a good play, a good throw, right on the money,” Hardy said. “(J.P.) Arencibia didn’t have to move much, good play. There is nothing we could have done differently. Rajai just made a good throw.”
So the O’s hit the road at 12-9 after a 6-3 homestand.
“It’s good. We won all the series, so that is what we are going for. Long trip now and gotta get focused on that,” Hardy said.
A few postgame notes:
* With an RBI triple today that tied the game in the seventh, Manny Machado is now batting .409 when hitting with runners in scoring position. When he bats with RISP and two outs this year, Machado is 6-for-8 for a .750 average with two homers and 11 RBIs.
* Until he gave up an earned run today, Johnson had gone 22 straight regular-season appearances, dating back to last season, without allowing a single earned run.
* The Orioles are 4-1 this season in five series against AL East opponents with a record of 9-6 in games within the division.