|Thomas matches Gehrig as Blue Jays upend Orioles|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 24 May 2007 21:43|
Alex Rios scored the tying run in the eighth inning and homered off Danys Baez in the 10th to carry the visiting Blue Jays past Baltimore 5-4 on Thursday night.
Toronto trailed 4-2 in the seventh before Frank Thomas hit his 493rd career home run, tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 21st on the career list. The solo shot left him two homers short of matching Edgar Martinez for most by a designated hitter (243).
After that, the Blue Jays went against Baltimore's overused bullpen. Toronto pulled even in the eighth against two Orioles relievers, then won it in the 10th against Baez (0-4), whose ineffectiveness this month cost him his role as the setup man. The right-hander came in with a 6.10 ERA and had yielded runs in four of his past five appearances.
Baez got one out before Rios hit a drive deep into the left-field seats. As Rios rounded the bases, the fans at Camden Yards showered Baez with a chorus of jeers.
Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo had already gone through four relievers before turning to Baez, simply because he had few other options.
``(Chad) Bradford was unavailable, and we were in trouble for innings at the point,'' Perlozzo said.
Enter Baez, who also gave up a double to Lyle Overbay before finally retiring the side.
``Hopefully, its not a devastating thing for him,'' Perlozzo said. ``We're obviously going to have to pick and choose a little later in the game now until we get him on track.''
In other AL games, it was: Detroit 12, Los Angeles 0; Tampa Bay 13, Seattle 12; and Cleveland 10, Kansas City 3.
The Blue Jays, in contrast, got fine performances from relievers Casey Janssen (2-0) and Jeremy Accardo. Janssen pitched two scoreless innings, his 14th straight appearance without allowing an earned run, and Accardo got three outs to earn his fifth save and maintain his spotless ERA (over 21 innings).
``They have been solid all year. We lost a couple guys early in the year and didn't know what to expect,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. ``They have established themselves in certain roles and they have all been outstanding.''
Matt Stairs homered for the Blue Jays, who took two of three to win only their second road series of at least three games. The other was in Tampa Bay on April 6-8.
Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who wasted a fine performance by starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Making his fourth start since leaving the bullpen, Guthrie allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He left with a 4-3 lead, but lamented the homer by Thomas.
``I put up a zero in the seventh,'' he said, ``and the whole game turns out different for us.''
Indians 10, Royals 3
In Kansas City, Mo., Jason Michaels capped a five-run first inning with a three-run homer, and Cleveland avoided a sweep.
Starter Jeremy Sowers (1-4) earned his first victory since beating Toronto 7-2 on Sept. 5, 2006. Sowers went seven innings, giving up one run and six hits with one strikeout.
Jorge De La Rosa (4-4) allowed a career-high seven walks - one intentional - and hit a batter in 4 1-3 innings. The Royals lost for just the third time in their past 11 games.
Tigers 12, Angels 0
In Detroit, Carlos Guillen homered twice and drove in five runs, and Jeremy Bonderman made a strong return from the disabled list to help Detroit.
Magglio Ordonez had four hits and three RBIs to take over the major league lead with 45, two more than the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. Gary Sheffield added a solo home run in the third as Detroit won for the fifth time in six games.
Bonderman (3-0), pitching for the first time since May 8 after missing two starts with a blister on his right middle finger, gave up four hits, walked five and struck out six in eight innings to win for the third time in as many starts.
Ordonez drove in two runs with his second double of the game in the fourth inning to chase Ervin Santana (3-6), who gave up eight runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Devil Rays 13, Mariners 12
In St. Petersburg, Fla., Carl Crawford had three RBIs and triggered a seven-run third inning for Tampa Bay.
Seven of Tampa Bay's nine starters drove in at least one run.
Jae Seo (3-4) gave up seven runs and 13 hits over 5-plus innings to earn the win, but the bullpen nearly gave it away.
Closer Al Reyes came on in the ninth with the Devil Rays ahead 13-10. He allowed a two-run homer to Ichiro Suzuki, but struck out Jose Guillen swinging with a man on to end the game.
Mariners starter Horacio Ramirez left after the second inning with tightness in his left shoulder. He gave up three runs and three hits. Reliever Sean White (1-1) allowed seven runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning, walking three.