The first inning jumped up and bit Wei-Yin Chen again tonight.
Chen allowed two runs in the first, raising his total to 21 this season, and two more in the second to dig an early hole for the Orioles as they attempt to sweep this doubleheader. His pitch count stood at 42 as he took the mound for the third inning.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 41st homer in the top of the first inning following a leadoff walk to Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis’ strikeout. The Blue Jays collected four hits in the second, including Omar Vizquel’s double and Anthony Gose’s RBI single that followed J.P. Arencibia’s sacrifice fly.
Chen has surrendered 27 home runs this season, second-most on the club behind Tommy Hunter (32).
The Orioles scored twice against Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero in the bottom of the second, the rally starting with one-out singles by Mark Reynolds and Manny Machado. Robert Andino’s two-run single with two outs sliced the Blue Jays’ lead in half, and the Orioles loaded the bases on Romero’s throwing error and a pitch that nailed Nate McLouth above the right elbow.
J.J. Hardy, who hit into a double play in the first inning, flied to left-center field to strand three runners. It looked like Hardy might clear the bases, but Gose ran down the ball.
The Jumbotron played a video before the bottom of the third that started with manager Buck Showalter thanking the fans for their support, and players lip-synching The Wanted’s “I’m Glad You Came”. It was hilarious and it brought a huge roar from the crowd.
In case you were wondering, Darren O’Day can ride a Solowheel and lip-sync at the same time.
Hopefully, Showalter wasn’t watching.
Update: McLouth homered to the opposite field in the fifth inning to reduce Toronto’s lead to 4-3.
McLouth had two infield hits in Game 1, and he’s reached base three times in Game 2.
Left-handers were hitting .306 against Romero before tonight.
Adam Jones doubled with one out, giving him five hits in the doubleheader
Reynolds drew his team-leading 71st walk. Yes, I’m keeping track.
The Orioles loaded the bases with two outs, but Endy Chavez grounded out.
Chen has allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, with one walk, three strikeouts, one home run and one hit batter. He’s thrown 74 pitches, 48 for strikes.
Tonight’s attendance: 31,015
Update II: All three batters reached against Chen in the sixth before he left the game. Moises Sierra homered and Omar Vizquel and Arencibia followed with singles.
Vizquel’s 2,878 hits ties him with Mel Ott for 40th on the all-time list.
Jake Arrieta replaced Chen and struck out the side to strand two runners. Arrieta has fanned 18 batters in five appearances covering 11 1/3 innings.
Chen allowed five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings, with one walk, three strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 82 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Update III: The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, and Hardy greeted reliever Brad Lincoln with an RBI single to reduce Toronto’s lead to 5-4.
Still loaded, still no outs...and the Orioles couldn’t score.
Jones, who was 3-for-3 with a double and home run off Lincoln, struck out on a slider in the dirt. Chris Davis flied to left, and Taylor Teagarden was thrown out at the plate.
Update IV: J.P. Arencibia’s second career grand slam in the seventh inning broke open Game 2.
Blue Jays 9, Orioles 4.
Arrieta loaded the bases with no outs and almost escaped the jam on a fielder’s choice at the plate and pop up. But Arencibia launched a slider into the seats for his 17th home run of the season.
The Yankees lead the Twins, 6-0, in the eighth inning.
Update V: Once again, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but they only scored once on Reynolds’ 6-4-3 double play and had to settle for a split.
Chen hasn’t won since Aug. 19 at Detroit.