- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

TORONTO (AP) - Zach Britton and the Baltimore Orioles made it a total loss for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Britton escaped a nervy ninth inning and the Orioles handed the Blue Jays their sixth straight defeat, 2-1 on Thursday night.

Toronto is off to a franchise-worst 1-8 start. The Blue Jays also saw star slugger Josh Donaldson leave in the sixth when he aggravated the sore right calf that kept him out of Tuesday’s home opener. Donaldson will be reevaluated Friday.

Four of Toronto’s eight defeats have been one-run decisions, and only one has been by more than two runs.

“It’s not like we’re getting crushed every night,” catcher Russell Martin said.



Kevin Gausman (1-0) pitched six innings for his first victory in nine career appearances at Rogers Centre.

“You can talk about a lot of things in the game but Kevin was the difference,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Britton took over in the ninth and Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out single, Martin followed with a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Britton held on for his fourth save, retiring Kevin Pillar on a grounder then getting pinch hitter and former teammate Steve Pearce on a flyball.

Britton got Pearce in a key spot for the second time this season. In Baltimore’s second game of the year, Britton got Pearce to ground into a bases-loaded double play to preserve a 3-1 win.

“I’ve got a little bit of history with him,” Britton said. “I’ve seen him hit quite a bit now, faced him quite a bit now, understand that he hits lefties well. If anything, it helps you out a little bit knowing him.”

Francisco Liriano (0-1), who allowed five runs in one-third of an inning in his season-opening loss to Tampa Bay last week, rebounded nicely against Baltimore. He struck out 10 and gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The Blue Jays, last in the majors with 24 total runs, saw Donaldson get hurt on an RBI double. Starting at DH for the second straight game, Donaldson pulled up as he rounded first base, hobbling into second before being replaced.

Eleven of Gausman’s 18 outs came on grounders, including one double play.

“Any time I can get groundball outs, that kind of shows me that I have it that day,” he said.

After Gausman left, Darren O’Day and Brad Brach each worked a scoreless inning.

Baltimore strung together four straight hits off Liriano to start the fifth. Wellington Castillo and Trey Mancini singled before Jonathan Schoop doubled and J.J. Hardy hit an RBI single.

Seeking to spark his offense, Toronto manager John Gibbons moved outfielder Ezequiel Carrera into the leadoff spot and dropped Devon Travis, who came in hitless in 23 at bats, to ninth. Neither move paid dividends, as Carrera finished 0 for 4 and Travis went 0 for 3.

ROSTER SHUFFLE

Baltimore selected RHP Stefan Crichton from Triple-A Norfolk and traded RHP Oliver Drake to Milwaukee for a player to be named. In a separate deal with the Brewers, Baltimore acquired RHP Damien Magnifico for an International Signing Bonus slot. Magnifico will report to Triple-A. RHP Jason Garcia was designated for assignment to make room for Magnifico.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session in Florida on Friday and is expected to make his first rehab start at Double-A Bowie on Monday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (0-0, 0.00) didn’t allow a run in five innings against the Yankees in his first start of the season last week. Miley went 0-2 in two starts against Toronto last year.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 1.29) makes his second start of the season. went 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts against the Orioles last season.

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