- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

TORONTO (AP) - J.A. Happ had his best start for the season for the Toronto Blue Jays. It just wasn’t enough to beat the Baltimore Orioles.

Happ struck out a career-high 12 in a season-best eight innings, but Caleb Joseph homered for the fourth consecutive game to lead Baltimore to a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.

Happ (8-6) allowed five hits and walked one while throwing 125 pitches. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA in his last four starts.

“He was fantastic,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “That’s a game you normally think you’re going to win.”

Happ’s only blemish was Joseph’s two-run homer in the fourth.

“It was a 2-0 fastball that it was supposed to be away and I pulled it,” Happ said. “Just a bad pitch, and he didn’t miss it.”

Joseph’s drive matched an Orioles record for catchers. Ramon Hernandez (2006) and Gus Triandos (1959) also homered in four straight games.

Chris Davis was the last Baltimore player to go deep in four straight games, accomplishing the feat from July 11-14, 2013.

The Orioles won for the fourth time in five games and lead the AL East by five games over Toronto and the New York Yankees. It was the AL-best 35th road victory for Baltimore, which has won six consecutive series, extending a season-best streak.

“We knew we had to come in and try to take care of business,” Joseph said of the series with Toronto. “Taking two of three is gratifying because they’re coming after us hard.”

Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez (6-6) allowed four hits in six innings, including Anthony Gose’s leadoff homer in the fifth. The right-hander improved to 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his last seven starts.

Andrew Miller worked the seventh, Darren O’Day pitched the eighth and Zach Britton finished for his 24th save in 27 chances.

Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera left in the third, two innings after he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch from Gonzalez.

Nolan Reimold took over for Cabrera, who had started as the designated hitter. X-rays on Cabrera’s elbow were negative.


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