O's can't hold late lead as Blue Jays walk off with 7-6 win

Well, that was a tough one to lose.

Down 3-1 early in the game, the Orioles moved ahead 5-3 in the sixth and 6-4 in the seventh, but lost 7-6 in the last of the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays won their ninth in a row.

Maicer Izturis led off the ninth with a single off Brian Matusz and advanced to second on a sac bunt. An intentional walk and groundout followed, advancing runners to second and third. Pedro Strop came on to face Rajai Davis and his line drive single to left provided Toronto with the walk-off win.

Earlier in the game, the Orioles hit three homers off R.A. Dickey. J.J. Hardy hit a solo shot in the second to bring the O's within 2-1. Chris Davis hit a three-run shot in the sixth to give the Orioles a 5-3 lead. Ryan Flaherty's solo blast to right in the seventh gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead.

But that edge didn't last long as Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run shot in the last of the seventh for his first major league homer and the game was tied at 6-6. He homered off Tommy Hunter, who had gone 11 consecutive appearances without allowing a homer.

Over his last six games, Hardy is 10-for-23 with two homers and five RBIs. In his last 10 games, Davis is 14-for-40 with seven homers and 17 RBIs. Davis has hit five homers his last five games, seven in his last nine and 16 over his last 33 games.

The Orioles have now homered in a season-high nine straight games. They've hit eight over the last three games and 15 in the last nine contests.

The Orioles were on their way to pinning a third loss in three starts this year against Dickey before the Blue Jays' comeback. Dickey has pitched 18 2/3 innings against the O's in 2013, allowing 22 hits, 16 runs and five homers for an ERA of 7.71.

Toronto pitchers allowed just 14 runs during the first eight games of the team's winning streak. The O's got six off their staff tonight, but it wasn't enough to win.

Jason Hammel, after missing a start due to illness, returned to the rotation tonight and gave up four hits and four runs over six innings in a no-decision. The Orioles bullpen tonight gave up three runs over 2 2/3 innings after allowing just one earned run in the last six games and 20 1/3 innings.

Toronto improves to 36-36 on the year, has won eight of its last 10 at home and is 13-3 over its last 16 games.

The Orioles fall to 42-32, losing for just the third time in eight games and fourth time in the last 12. They had been 19-10 over their last 29 games.

In game two of the series, Saturday at 1:07 p.m., Miguel Gonzalez (5-2, 3.75 ERA) starts for the Orioles against Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 3.14 ERA).

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