- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BALTIMORE | Jeremy Guthrie’s pitch count had soared past 100, and the Toronto Blue Jays had the tying run at second base in the seventh inning when a driving rain got even worse.

Guthrie managed to put the wet baseball where he wanted, and the Baltimore Orioles escaped with a 4-1 victory Monday that extended the Blue Jays’ losing streak to seven.

Guthrie (4-4) allowed one run, seven hits and a walk over seven innings. The right-hander had lost four of his previous five decisions, but in this one his control was exceptionally sharp - even after the conditions became dismal.

With Baltimore nursing a 2-1 lead, Lyle Overbay led off the seventh with a single and Rod Barajas struck out before Jose Bautista walked. After a visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz, Guthrie struck out Marco Scutaro on a 3-2 pitch and finished his performance by inducing Aaron Hill to hit into a fielder’s choice.

“I don’t know how he did it. He sure came up with some big pitches,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

Added Guthrie: “It was a real tough little situation there. I could not feel the ball very well. To get that big [strikeout] there and Aaron Hill just missed that pitch enough to get that groundball, that was huge.”

Former Orioles pitcher B.J. Ryan then gave up two runs in the bottom half to put Toronto in a 4-1 hole.

After a drying agent was applied to the soggy infield, Cesar Izturis slapped a grounder to third that dropped out of Scott Rolen’s glove. Brian Roberts followed with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Aubrey Huff.

That assured the Orioles their fourth win in 15 games against Toronto since June 7, 2008.

“Toronto has given us some hard times in the last couple years, and certainly they are playing good baseball this year,” Roberts said. “So for us to beat a good team in our own division, yeah, I think that is something we can build on a little bit.”

Roberts was spiked in the second inning but stuck around until crossing the plate in the seventh. He left with a bruised left shin and was limping afterward in the clubhouse.

“It got stiff and sore as the game moved on. When you’re running you don’t really think about it,” he said. “When I stopped is when it hurt.”

Danys Baez worked the eighth, and George Sherrill got three outs for his 10th save. Sherrill has not allowed a run in nine appearances since May 2 in Toronto.

Vernon Wells had the lone RBI for the Blue Jays, who lost three in Boston and three more in Atlanta before coming to Camden Yards. The seven-game skid is Toronto’s longest since last June.

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