For the second time this season, the Baltimore Orioles have taken two out of three from an AL East opponent on the road thanks to another offensive explosion on Thursday Night as the O's beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4.
Baltimore continued to get contributions up and down the lineup Thursday, and much like Wednesday, they had to overcome an early deficit, this time three runs, but the offense was up to the task and Bud Norris (1-2) kept the Jays in check after a rough second inning to pick up his first win of the season.
Trailing 3-2, the Orioles exploded for five runs in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth to blow the game wide open. David Lough, who broke out of his slump in a big way last night, got things going in the seventh with a one out double and Nick Markakis followed with a walk. With one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now in Nelson Cruz up, Lough and Markakis orchestrated a double steal to put runners on second and third with one out. Toronto elected to intentionally walk Cruz then to load the bases for Chris Davis. That's when the merry-go-round got started as Davis used a terrific two-strike approach to knock a two run single to the opposite field to give Baltimore the lead 4-3. The Birds were not finished however, as Adam Jones followed with a RBI double and Matt Wieters knocked in two with a single to give the O's a 7-3 lead.
The Orioles took away any doubt of a victory in the eighth Jonathan Schoop, who hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, led off with a hit by pitch and Lough followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Markakis followed with a single to load the bases and that guy Cruz came through again with a two run single to give Baltimore a 9-3 lead. One batter later, Jones hit a two run single of his own to pad the lead even more at 11-3.
Cruz's two run single in the eighth pushed his consecutive games with at least one RBI to seven games as he inches closer to the franchise record of 11 straight.
Every Oriole starter had a hit except for Ryan Flaherty, while Lough led the way going 3-4 with a double, two stolen bases and three runs scored. Cruz (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Davis (2-5, 3 RBI, R), Jones (2-5, 3 RBI, R, 2B) and Wieters (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI) all had multi-hit games for the Birds.
Baltimore once again found themselves in a hole early as Norris, the Orioles starter surrendered a solo and two run home run in the second inning to put the O's behind 3-0, but that was all that he would allow the rest of the night.
Norris settled down, and was very efficient, despite dealing with a little bit of a hamstring issue. Norris would shut down the potent Blue Jays lineup the next four innings allowing himself to be in line for the win when Baltimore exploded for their five run seventh inning. When his night was done, Norris had thrown six innings, while allowing three runs on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts. It was Norris' second quality start of the season and his first win.
Zach Britton and Josh Stinson combined to allow one run over the final three innings.
Last night marked the first time the Orioles have scored 10 or more runs in back to back games since August 14-15 in 2008 against the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The win also gave the Birds a 4-3 road trip and finished their 15 consecutive game stretch against AL East opponents with a 9-6 record.
Baltimore returns home to Charm City tonight as Ubaldo Jimenez (0-3) will look to get his first win as an Oriole as he squares off against flame thrower Yordano Ventura (1-1) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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