The Toronto Blue Jays threw another wrench in Baltimore’s plans to win the American League East by defeating the Orioles 4-0 at Camden Yards on Tuesday.
With their second straight loss to Toronto (68-86), Baltimore (88-67) fell two full games behind the Yankees in the race for the division championship — pending the result of New York’s later match-up against Minnesota.
Aaron Laffey (4-6) scattered only five hits and kept the ball low in the zone, inducing 12 ground-ball outs while not giving up a run over 5.2 innings to pick up the win.
Joe Saunders (8-13) allowed three runs on 11 hits and struck out two for the loss.
Yan Gomes drove in his 12th RBI of the year in the first inning when his line-drive single to left scored Brett Lawrie from second to give Toronto the early lead.
Rajai Davis was brought home in the fourth inning to double the lead when Adeiny Hechavarria shot a Saunders change-up into the left-field corner.
Toronto stretched the lead to three in the seventh as Colby Rasmus found the gap in right-centre to score J.P. Arencibia from second and to chase Saunders.
Then Edwin Encarnacion, the next batter, singled home Anthony Gose for his 106th RBI to make it 4-0.
Brett Cecil came in for the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second and one out, and the southpaw quickly struck out pinch-hitter Jim Thome on three pitches to defuse the threat.
Brandon Lyon then threw one pitch to pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty as he grounded out to first.
Casey Janssen pitched the ninth in a non-save opportunity and walked the bases loaded with two outs, but Flaherty flew out to Rasmus, ending the game.
Notes: The Blue Jays had not won two games in a row since a Sept. 7-9 sweep in Boston … Oakland pulled within one game of the first A.L. wildcard spot with the Baltimore loss, pending their late game against Texas