Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) – Jonathan Schoop’s grand slam and seven
stellar innings from Ubaldo Jimenez fueled the Baltimore Orioles to a 7-1 win
over the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Schoop’s fifth-inning blast was one of three Baltimore homers as the Orioles
avenged a 12-5 defeat to the Blue Jays in Friday’s opener of this three-game
set. Alejandro De Aza and Chris Davis had solo shots in the opening inning off
Aaron Sanchez, who struggled mightily in his first career major league start.
Jimenez (1-0) didn’t need much offensive support, as the maligned right-hander
yielded only one hit — a fourth-inning single to Jose Reyes — while striking
out eight in a dominant effort.
De Aza, Davis and Everth Cabrera each finished with two hits in the rout.
Sanchez (0-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits
and issuing a pair of walks.
Jimenez endured a highly disappointing first season in Baltimore last year,
but his performance on Saturday was far more resemblant of the pitcher the
Orioles handed a four-year, $50 million contract to in February of 2014.
The former All-Star set down the first nine Toronto hitters — four by
strikeout — before Reyes singled to open the fourth. Jimenez then retired 12
of the next 13, with Reyes’ walk in the sixth ending a string of eight
straight outs, prior to departing with the Orioles owning a comfortable 7-0
Sanchez, conversely, was shaky right out of the gates. The heralded prospect’s
second pitch of the night was lined over the right-field wall by De Aza, and
the recently reinstated Davis blasted his seventh offering into the seats in
left-center field for the slugger’s first homer since Sept. 6 of last season.
More trouble came Sanchez’s way in the third, as De Aza, Steve Pearce and
Davis all singled to load the bases with none out. De Aza crossed the plate on
a well-turned double play by Reyes and Devon Travis off the bat of Adam Jones
that helped avoid a big inning, and Sanchez did avert further trouble by
getting the slumping Manny Machado to fly out with the bases loaded.
Baltimore piled on against reliever Todd Redmond in the fifth, with a Jones
single and a pair of walks setting the table for Schoop’s first career slam
that increased the margin to 7-0.
Toronto avoided a shutout when Steve Tolleson doubled to begin the ninth and
came around on Edwin Encarnacion’s two-out single off Zach Britton.
The Orioles placed reliever Wesley Wright on the 15-day disabled list prior to
the game due to a strained left trapezius … Jimenez went 5-4 with a 3.40 ERA
in 16 night starts last season, compared to a 1-5 mark and 8.82 ERA in nine
day appearances … Machado finished 0-for-3 and is hitless in 15 at-bats this
season … Sanchez threw just 34 of his 61 pitches for strikes.