Jose Bautista’s major league-leading 47th home run of the season was not enough as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 and completed the sweep in Camden Yards.
Bautista’s homer tied George Bell’s record for most in a season by a Blue Jay. The Dominican has almost secured the title with Albert Pujols eight home runs behind and less than 20 games left in the calendar.
Toronto right-hander Kyle Drabek (0-1) was looking to make some history of his own in his first career start, but ultimately took the loss in his MLB debut.
The son of former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek was called up from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League (AA), and allowed three runs in six innings, while striking out five.
Brad Bergesen (7-10) threw a complete game for the home team, allowing only one run and seven hits.
The righty dominated the Jays and showed great control throughout all nine innings, finishing with three K’s and no walks, lowering his ERA to 5.03.
His only mistake was to Bautista in the opening frame. The Jays No. 3 hitter came to the plate with two outs in the first inning and crushed the pitcher’s offering over the left centrefield fence to put the Jays ahead 1-0.
Toronto (73-73) could have added a second run in the first inning. Vernon Wells reached first base on an error by Baltimore’s third baseman Ty Wigginton, Lyle Overbay followed with a double to left but Wells was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Baltimore comes right back
The Orioles (57-88) tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis hit back-to-back singles and followed up with a double-steal play. Wigginton struck out swinging after that, but Luke Scott grounded out to second, bringing Roberts home.
Baltimore extended the lead to 3-1 in the fourth. Felix Pie singled and made his way to third base on a passed ball, while Matt Wieters walked setting the stage for Corey Patterson, who hit an RBI single that brought Pie in for the score.
Wieters crossed the plate later on a ground ball by Roberts.
The Blue Jays, fourth in the AL East, have now lost seven of the last 10 games and will have Thursday off before they head to Boston to begin a three-game series against the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, the Orioles have hit a hot streak, now winners of eight of their last 10 games and four consecutive series for the first time since August 2004.