Wei-Yin Chen struggled in another start, and Jake Arrieta came up short in his bid to get out of two straight jams. All that added up to a Toronto Blue Jays' 9-5 win tonight in Game 2 of a doubleheader.
The Orioles won the opener 4-1, but fall to 88-66 with this loss. The Yankees beat the Twins 6-3 to drop Baltimore to 1 1/2 games behind New York. The Orioles have not been more than one game out since they were two games behind on September 2.
Chen allowed four runs over the first two innings as the O's fell behind 4-0. The Orioles cut the lead to 4-3 and, after Toronto went back ahead by two, to 5-4 in the sixth.
But J.P Arencibia delivered a decisive blow when he hit a grand slam to left off Arrieta to make it 9-4 in the top of the seventh. Arrieta was an out away from escaping a bases-loaded, no-out situation when Arencibia hit his second-career slam to take the air out of the balloon for 31,015 fans at Camden Yards.
Chen took the loss to fall to 12-10 with an ERA of 4.11. He came up short again in his sixth try at becoming the O's first 13-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2007.
Chen has struggled late this season. He has an ERA of 5.90 now in five September starts and 5.15 in 10 starts since the beginning of August.
Robert Andino had a two-run single for the Orioles, and they also got a Nate McLouth solo homer and J.J Hardy RBI single. They fell behind by four early on and never got even, losing by four tonight.
This is just the Orioles' second loss in nine games and ninth over the last 30 games. They are now 43-33 at home and 43-26 since the All-Star break.
But now they've got more catching up to do in the East with just eight games remaining.