When rookie Josh Rogers got into a jam in the fifth inning, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter was reluctant to take him out.
He knew Rogers’ parents were in the crowd for his major league debut and was hoping to end the night on a high note. So, Showalter decided to stay with the young pitcher.
Rogers recovered and won his first start, Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer and the Orioles rolled over the Toronto Blue Jays 12-5 on Tuesday night.
“It was a good start for him,” Showalter said. “Got a win.”
Rogers, acquired from the Yankees for closer Zach Britton in July, allowed three runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk over five innings. He was the first left-handed pitcher to start a game for Baltimore this season.
“I couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Rogers said. “Got some good run support early and pitching with run support makes it a heck of a lot easier, especially in a debut like that. Just tried to go out and pound the zone and let the defence work behind me, and they did a great job tonight.”
Craig Gentry went 3 for 5 with his first home run and three RBIs for the Orioles, who won consecutive games for the first time this month. However, this night belonged to Rogers.
“I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Gentry said. “He came out and got himself out of a couple of jams and battled and pitched a great game for us. Luckily, we were able to get some runs on the board for him and help him relax.”
Trey Mancini added a double and a triple, while Adam Jones tied a career high with four hits.
Blue Jays rookie left-hander Thomas Pannone (1-1) blanked the Orioles over seven innings last Wednesday to win his first major league start. This time, Pannone struggled, allowing seven runs and nine hits over 3 1/3 innings.
“I didn’t execute pitches that well. I didn’t get my secondary pitches over for a strike,” Pannone said. “So, I kind of backed myself into a corner with just my fastball. And I didn’t really have my best life on it either.”
Justin Smoak and Randal Grichuk homered for the Blue Jays, who lost for just the third time in 15 games against Baltimore. Grichuk also tied a career high with four hits, including an RBI single in the ninth off Tanner Scott.
“Smokey has been a good player for us,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “And Grich isn’t too far behind either.”
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out single by Chris Davis that scored Mancini. Davis went 3 for 5 with three RBIs.
Baltimore pounded out 17 hits.
Mancini was also the spark in the third when he tripled and scored on a single by Jones. Davis followed with another single and Beckham hit a three-run shot that increased the lead to 5-0.
Toronto got on the board with an RBI single by Kevin Pillar in the fourth. After the Blue Jays won a manager’s challenge and loaded the bases later that inning, Rogers struck out Aledmys Diaz to end the threat.
Gentry hit a two-run shot in the bottom half that extended the lead to 7-1, ending Pannone’s night.
Baltimore agreed to terms with a pair of international players from the Dominican Republic: INF Moises Ramirez and RHP Carlos del Rosario. Baltimore had largely ignored the international market recently.
“Today’s signings are part of a co-ordinated plan for the Orioles to re-establish the club in the international recruiting arena,” Orioles executive vice-president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf tightness) started at third base in a rehab assignment at Class A Dunedin on Tuesday. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and an RBI.
Orioles: CF Cedric Mullins has been dealing with a hip injury and was held out of the lineup. John Andreoli, who was claimed off waivers from Seattle on Aug. 18, started in his place.
Blue Jays: Rookie Ryan Borucki (3-3, 4.12 ERA) outduelled Jake Arrieta in his last appearance, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a 4-2 victory over the Phillies.
Orioles: Alex Cobb (4-15, 5.00 ERA) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts.