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Orioles Score 2 In 9th, Hold Off Blue Jays 4-3

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credit: Baltimore Orioles

credit: Baltimore Orioles

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1057topper Orioles Score 2 In 9th, Hold Off Blue Jays 4 3

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TORONTO (AP) — Jeremy Guthrie’s strained back put a damper on the Baltimore Orioles’ win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Guthrie pitched five shutout innings in a 4-3 victory before being forced out of the game by pain that began while he was warming up for the fifth inning.

“Tomorrow I’m going to go see the doctor and get it looked at and see what they say,” said Guthrie. “There was enough pain that we’re not going to go forward with that.”

Baltimore scored two runs in the ninth inning en route to snapping a 16-game losing streak in Toronto.

Vladimir Guerrero and Luke Scott opened the ninth with back-to-back singles against Toronto closer Jon Rauch (2-3). Derek Lee followed with a swinging bunt that Blue Jays third baseman Jayson Nix charged on, but Nix’s throw home was high, allowing pinch-runner Nolan Reimold to score for a 3-2 Orioles lead.

Luis Perez replaced Rauch and walked Mark Reynolds to load the bases before Ryan Adams singled to score pinch-runner Felix Pie and make it 4-2.

Adam Lind’s solo home run off Kevin Gregg in the bottom of the ninth made it 4-3, but the former Toronto closer recovered to earn his 13th save as Baltimore avoided a sweep.

Jason Berken (1-2) earned the win with two shutout innings in his second appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.

Berken’s last win was also Baltimore’s last win in Toronto on Aug. 7, 2009.

“I feel like mechanically I’m back to where I need to be and the adjustments I made in Norfolk have paid off so far,” said Berken.

Guthrie allowed just one hit with five strikeouts and one walk before leaving after throwing only 64 pitches.

Blue Jays rookie Zach Stewart looked impressive in his first big league start. The right-hander allowed just two runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked one before being replaced by Jason Frasor.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy homered off Stewart leading off the sixth — his seventh homer of the season — to give Baltimore a 1-0 lead. Nick Markakis followed with a single and scored on a double by Guerrero, who reached 2,500 career hits.

“I feel very good,” Guerrero said through his interpreter. “Fifteen years in the big league means I’ve had a lot of hits and it feels good.”

Hardy now has three home runs in seven games in which he has batted leadoff. He has four homers in 32 games hitting somewhere other than first in Baltimore’s lineup.

“I feel like I’ve been seeing the ball OK lately,” Hardy said. “So if I was hitting sixth, seventh, it would be the same.”

Jim Johnson replaced Guthrie in the sixth and almost immediately coughed up the lead on a two-run single by Jose Bautista.

Nix’s single and an error by second baseman Adams on a potential double-play ball from Yunel Escobar put two runners on for the Blue Jays. Corey Patterson’s sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third before Bautista tied the game 2-2.

Toronto loaded the bases against Johnson on singles by Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, but Edwin Encarnacion grounded into an inning-ending double-play.

Stewart dealt nicely with his first big league jam, created in part by the bright sunshine.

After two perfect innings to begin his major league career, the rookie walked Reynolds leading off the top of the third. Adams then grounded into a double-play.

But Hardy followed No. 9 hitter Craig Tatum’s two-out single with a pop-up that Blue Jays second baseman Hill and right fielder Bautista seemed to lose track of in the sun. The blooper fell in behind Hill and bounced past Bautista for a double.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Stewart ended the inning by getting Markakis on a groundout to second.

A balk by Stewart sent Guerrero to second following a one-out single, but Stewart again escaped unscathed by retiring Luke Scott and Derrek Lee on fly balls.

Blue Jays catcher Jose Molina was ejected from the game after striking out in the bottom of the seventh inning. J.P Arencibia replaced him behind the plate.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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