BALTIMORE (AP) — Steve Pearce homered in a third successive game, Josh Donaldson tacked on a ninth-inning grand slam and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 Monday night before 7,915 fans, the lowest paid crowd in Camden Yards history.
Gametime temperature was 44 degrees, and a slight mist made the conditions even more miserable. That contributed to a dubious attendance record at the 27-year-old ballpark that had held since April 12, 2010, when 9,129 showed up for a game between the Orioles and Tampa Bay.
There were no fans at a game on April 29, 2015, when the Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox in a closed stadium due to security concerns amid civil unrest in Baltimore.
After getting his 500th career hit in the second inning, Pearce put Toronto up 2-0 in the third with a two-run shot off Dylan Bundy (0-1) on a 3-0 pitch. It marked the first time in his career that Pearce, who’s had three separate stints with the Orioles, homered in three consecutive games.
It was 2-1 in the ninth before Curtis Granderson drew a bases-loaded walk and Donaldson followed with his fourth career slam, a shot to center off rookie Nestor Cortes Jr.
J.A. Happ (2-1) struck out nine in six innings, allowing one run and five hits. The right-hander was 0-3 against the Orioles last season.
Bundy (0-1) gave up two runs and four hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. The right-hander has a 1.35 ERA in three starts, yet remains winless.
Manny Machado hit a third-inning homer for the Orioles, who went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.
Slugger Chris Davis, who’s off to a miserable start, cracked the bat over his knee after striking out in the sixth. He later was thrown out trying to bunt against the shift during an 0-for-4 performance that lowered his batting average to .088.
Blue Jays: 1B Kendrys Morales strained his left hamstring running out a single and was removed for a pinch runner in the second inning. … OF Anthony Alford (hamstring) has started his rehab in Florida, where he is expected to remain for a few days before likely heading to Triple-A Buffalo, manager John Gibbons said.
Orioles: DH Mark Trumbo (quad strain) is expected to start for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday and Wednesday. … RHP Alex Cobb could make his season debut Saturday in Boston, manager Buck Showalter said. Cobb missed most of spring training before signing as a free agent in late March.
The Orioles recalled their top pitching prospect, Hunter Harvey, to fortify a weary bullpen. Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, has not yet pitched in the majors.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 5.40 ERA) seeks his first win since July 14 in the second game of the series Tuesday night.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-1, 4.09) makes his second home start with Baltimore. In his Orioles debut, he yielded three HRs in a loss to the Twins on March 31.
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