Cruz helps Orioles outslug Blue Jays
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Nelson Cruz knocked in five runs with a grand slam and a solo homer to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a 10-8 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the second installment of a three-game set.
Matt Wieters supplied a solo home run, three hits and two RBI for the Orioles, who have won two of their last three. Chris Davis also stroked a solo shot in the triumph.
"Nelson is a great hitter," Wieters said. "I always had trouble calling pitches against him so I'm glad he's on our team. He's a huge addition to the middle of our lineup."
Chris Tillman (3-1) received the win despite allowing seven runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Tommy Hunter escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Brett Lawrie, Jose Reyes and Ryan Goins all homered for Toronto, which has dropped two of its last three games. Todd Redmond (0-2) was tagged with the loss after recording only two outs and allowing three runs on four hits.
Melky Cabrera went 3-for-5 with a double for the Blue Jays, while starter Dustin McGowan gave up six runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts in four-plus innings of work.
"At 60 pitches I kind of seem to be falling backwards a little bit," McGowan said. "I feel good, my arm feels great. It's just sometimes it seems like the ball is not coming out quite right after 60-65 pitches."
With two outs in the first, Davis crushed a fly ball over the center-field wall to give the O's an early advantage.
The Blue Jays took a commanding lead after scoring six runs in the second. Tillman hit Juan Francisco with a pitch to lead off the frame. Dioner Navarro singled and Rasmus reached on a fielder's choice before Lawrie connected on a first-pitch fastball and drove it for a three-run blast to left.
After Goins walked, Reyes made it a 5-1 game with a two-run homer to right- center field. Cabrera singled and scored two batters later when Edwin Encarnacion broke his bat on an RBI single to left.
In the top of the third, Jonathan Schoop doubled on a fly ball to left and two batters later, was brought home on a Nick Markakis single to center. After Markakis was caught in a rundown between first and second, Cruz drove a fastball into the upper deck in left to make it a 6-3 contest.
The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and chased McGowan out of the game. Redmond came on and got Markakis to pop-up. Cruz came up next and stroked a grand slam to put the O's ahead, 7-6.
The rally continued as Davis and Jones both singled before Wieters doubled on a fly ball to left-center field, scoring Jones and placing men on second and third with one out. J.J. Hardy hit a deep fly ball to left that was caught at the wall by Cabrera, but scored Jones to make it a 9-6 game.
Toronto got within two after Goins homered to left with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Wieters stroked a solo shot off J.A. Happ for the O's in the next frame for a 10-7 lead.
Brian Matusz came on to pitch for Baltimore in the bottom of the seventh. After striking out Francisco, Matusz gave up singles to Navarro and Lawrie before being replaced by Darren O'Day. Josh Thole singled up the middle to score Navarro and get the Blue Jays within two.
Hunter gave up three straight singles to Navarro, Rasmus and Lawrie to load the bases with one out in the ninth, but got Jonathan Diaz to ground into a double play to end the game.
Cruz has driven in at least one run in six straight games ... Davis has reached base safely in a career-high 19 straight games. He has also hit 18 homers against Toronto since the start of the 2012 season ... Bautista has reached safely in all 21 games this season, the longest streak in the majors.
04/24 01:23:05 ET