BALTIMORE (AP) — Nick Markakis singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Toronto reliever Aaron Loup (1-2) began the ninth by hitting Chris Davis with a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Steve Pearce popped out and Nolan Reimold received an intentional walk before Alexi Casilla reached on a throwing error by shortstop Munenori Kawasaki that loaded the bases.
Markakis then sliced an 0-2 pitch to the opposite field near the left-field line.
Jim Johnson (1-1) worked a perfect ninth for the Orioles, now 5-2 on a nine-game homestand that ends Wednesday.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ allowed one run and four hits in six-plus innings, walking two and striking out six.
Not be outdone, Orioles starter Chris Tillman gave up one run, four hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. After Manny Machado’s liner to center eluded the glove of a diving Colby Rasmus for a single and Adam Jones singled off the glove of third baseman Brett Lawrie, both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Davis hit a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Machado, who beat a strong throw by Jose Bautista with a nifty hand tag at the plate.
The Blue Jays answered in the seventh. Edwin Encarnacion ended an 0-for-16 skid with Toronto’s second hit, a one-out single. Adam Lind, who had reached base nine straight times (three hits, six walks) looked at a third strike and J.P. Arencibia singled before Rasmus bounced an RBI single through the right side to chase Tillman.
Darren O’Day walked Lawrie to load the bases before striking out Emilio Bonifacio.
Happ walked Pearce to open the bottom of the seventh and was removed, ensuring neither starter would get a win in this pitching duel.
Happ gave up a leadoff single to Markakis in the first inning and didn’t allow another hit until Casilla reached on a slow roller to third base with two outs in the fifth. The only other runners during that span got on via a walk and a hit by pitch.
Tillman was equally sharp. After Lind singled with one out in the second, Arencibia walked before Rasmus grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Lind walked in the fifth and was wiped out when Rasmus again bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the Toronto sixth, Bonifacio walked and got to second with two outs before Melky Cabrera lifted a routine fly to left.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned struggling RHP Jake Arrieta to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled RHP Alex Burnett to fortify an overworked bullpen. … INF Maicer Izturis, who appeared in 16 of Toronto’s first 19 games, sat out this one with hamstring tightness. … RHP R.A. Dickey expects to start Tuesday night for the Blue Jays despite experiencing back and neck soreness in his last start. The Orioles will send Miguel Gonzalez (1-1, 4.00 ERA) to the mound.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)