TORONTO - The Orioles started off a tough road trip with a comeback win last night, beating Toronto 6-5 at Rogers Centre. With the win they gained ground on both the idle Red Sox and the third-place Blue Jays.
Winners of five in a row and eight of nine games, the Orioles are 36-23 and leading Boston by two games and Toronto by 5 ½ at the top of the American League East. The Orioles are a season-best 13 games over the .500 mark.
The Orioles trailed 5-3 last night when they pulled within a run on a Pedro Alvarez homer in the sixth and tied it 5-5 on a Chris Davis solo homer in the seventh. Davis’ sac fly in the ninth broke the 5-5 tie and Zach Britton pitched a 1-2-3 last of the ninth on eight pitches for his 19th save in 19 chances.
Since 2008, no player has hit more homers against Toronto than Davis with 32. Boston’s David Ortiz is next at 31. Davis, who has homered in two straight games, has hit a major league best 172 homers since 2012.
During the five-game win streak the Orioles have outscored their opponents 26-8 and O’s starters have pitched to an ERA of 2.03. The Orioles bullpen has recorded 14 scoreless innings in that stretch allowing just six hits with three walks and 16 strikeouts.
MLB leaders in bullpen ERA:
2.61 - Orioles
2.75 - Kansas City
2.97 - Seattle
3.04 - Washington
On the mound tonight in Game 2 of a four-game series, Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-3, 3.52 ERA) faces Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (4-2, 2.41 ERA).
Gausman gave up just one run in six innings Sunday against the Yankees after allowing six homers and nine runs over 11 innings his two previous starts. In nine career games and four starts versus Toronto, he is 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA.
Estrada ranks fourth in the AL in ERA and first in opponent average against among starting pitchers, at .167. He has pitched eight innings in three of his last four starts (seven innings in the other one), going 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA. In five home starts, Estrada is 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA. The Jays are 6-5 in his 11 starts.