- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BALTIMORE — His fastball wasn’t working, so Steve Trachsel tried to slip a curveball past Aaron Hill.

Hill drove the pitch into the left-field seats for a three-run homer, the key blow in a 16-hit outburst that provided the Toronto Blue Jays with an 11-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles last night at Camden Yards.

Hill’s second home run of the season gave Toronto a 5-0 lead in the third inning. Three batters later, Trachsel was headed to the dugout.

“No fastball command. I was pitching behind from the very beginning,” said Trachsel, who hit David Eckstein with a pitch to open the game.

Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit. Alex Rios and Matt Stairs each had two RBI, and Eckstein finished with three hits and scored three runs as Toronto reached season highs in runs and hits.

“It was a great day. We did everything,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We pitched pretty well and we hit. We had some good at-bats. Tonight, we had a little bit of everything.”

Shaun Marcum (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in 62/3 innings. He walked three, struck out four and lowered his career ERA against Baltimore to 6.39 over seven appearances.

The victory gave Toronto a split of the two-game series and a 4-1 record on a swing through Texas and Baltimore.

“It was a good road trip,” Hill said. “Traditionally, we haven’t done well against Texas and the road trip that followed. [The Orioles] have been playing well, so it was good to walk out of here with a win.”

Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Melvin Mora homered for the Orioles, who have lost five of seven following a 6-1 start. It was Jones’ first home run with Baltimore since joining the team in the February trade that sent Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners.

To honor Jackie Robinson, Jones wore No. 42 and Toronto’s Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas also donned the number worn by the player who broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

Trachsel (1-2) gave up five runs, five hits and three walks in 21/3 innings, a performance that lifted his ERA from 3.00 to 5.65. He retired only five of 14 batters; the other two outs occurred on attempted steals.

“Most of his pitches were up and over the plate. Pitched behind,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “Just wasn’t his night. I think it’s that simple.”

Four of the five hits Trachsel allowed were singles. The exception was Hill’s shot to left.

“Obviously, the ball that Hill hit, the home run, that’s a big hit for them,” Trembley said. “It opened up the game.”

Trachsel was 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA in seven lifetime against the Blue Jays, but this one was a definite dud.

“It was the first time we’ve broken through on him,” Gibbons said. “It was big. He’s had our number, but tonight we got to him. Maybe it’s the start of something.”

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