BALTIMORE (AP) - Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez tried to stay positive following an uneven start against the Baltimore Orioles.
With the exception of one costly inning where he allowed five runs, the right-hander found several things to build on in the Blue Jays’ 6-1 loss Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the Blue Jays could not muster any offense against Miguel Gonzalez.
Gonzalez scattered three singles and allowed just one unearned run while pitching into the eighth inning.
“Games like tonight are tough,” Sanchez said. “I’ll move on to my next start.”
Sanchez (3-3) allowed a season-high five runs on seven hits with four walks and a strikeout over 5 2-3 innings.
Alejandro De Aza reached base four times for the Orioles on a single, double, hit by pitch and a walk. Rookie Rey Navarro got his first career home run with a solo shot to lead off the eighth.
Gonzalez (4-2) struck out five and walked two in 7 2/3 innings to improve to 7-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 12 career starts against Toronto. The Blue Jays’ only run came on a passed ball in the eighth. Gonzalez also improved to 20-11 against AL East opponents, which could bode well as the Orioles try to defend their division title.
“He’s always tough on us,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He’s a pitcher. He’s got a good, quick arm. He moves the ball around. He’s always been tough on us.”
The Orioles, who won for just the third time in nine games, held Toronto without an extra-base hit for the first time this season.
Sanchez struggled early, walking his first two batters in the second. After a bunt by David Lough moved them over, Caleb Joseph followed with a two-run double down the left-field line. Manny Machado and De Aza added two more doubles, extending the lead to 4-0. De Aza went to third on a wild pitch and Jimmy Paredes got an infield single for the Orioles’ fifth run.
“The game plan after giving up five runs was just to keep them right there,” Sanchez said. “For the remainder of the time I was out there, I thought I did a good job.”
One night after committing three errors, the Orioles came up with several defensive gems, including a running catch by De Aza in right and a leaping grab by the second baseman Navarro in the fourth.
That was all the support Gonzalez would need. After a single by Devon Travis in the third, Gonzalez retired 14 straight. A walk to Kevin Pillar in the eighth ended that streak. Pillar later scored on a passed ball by Joseph.
Navarro provided more separation in the eighth with his homer after being called up Tuesday from Triple-A Norfolk.
“I just feel like it was something out of this world,” Navarro said. “That’s the dream coming true. Playing in the big leagues and then you hit your first career home run. It was great.”
Baltimore right-hander Darren O’Day got the final four outs for his first save.
Toronto’s starters have managed to work through six full innings in only seven of their 19 games on the road this season. They have an ERA of 7.03 in their last 11 road games.
Blue Jays: SS Jose Reyes (injured left rib) took batting practice from both sides of the plate for the first time Wednesday. Reyes felt fine fielding and batting right-handed, but said he wouldn’t consider a rehab assignment until he could bat without difficulty from both sides.
Orioles: RHP Jason Garcia (right shoulder tendinitis) was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, and RHP Mike Wright was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Blue Jays: Righty Drew Hutchison (3-0) opens the four-game series Thursday at Houston, putting his perfect record on the line against Astros right-hander Roberto Hernandez (1-3).
Orioles: Baltimore opens its third series outside the AL East on Friday. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (1-1) faces Angels righty Jered Weaver (1-4).
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