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Kawasaki's clutch hit lifts Jays over O's
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Munenori Kawasaki's two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth scored the game-winning run, as the Toronto Blue Jays scored four times in the final frame to steal a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a four-game set at Rogers Centre.
All four runs were charged to Baltimore reliever Jim Johnson (2-5), who blew the save, allowing four hits and walking one in defeat. The Orioles had won four of five coming in.
"We should be getting on the plane with three wins here, but I can't hang my head too long," Johnson said.
Earlier in the ninth, J.P. Arencibia smacked an RBI single and two batters later, Johnson walked Anthony Gose to load the bases with one down. Mark DeRosa grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring one, to put runners on first and third.
That's when Kawasaki, who faced a 3-2 count, hit a shot into the gap in left center to bring home the deciding runs and help Toronto earn a split in the series.
"To be honest with you, I don't know where we'd be without him," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Kawasaki.
Steve Delabar (4-1) picked up the win, despite issuing a two-run double to Baltimore's Matt Wieters in the top of the ninth that made it 5-2.
Wieters finished 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI and Adam Jones hit his fourth homer in four days in the setback.
"I think when he got into some deeper counts and some hitter's counts, it allows them to hit some better pitches," Wieters said of Johnson.
Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez was in line for the win after he lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits.
Toronto hurler Chad Jenkins, making just his second start of the season, gave up two runs on eight hits and three walks over five frames.
Baltimore jumped on Jenkins in the second to open the scoring. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy hit a ground-rule double and single, respectively, before Wieters' two-bagger scored Davis for a 1-0 lead and moved Hardy to third. Danny Valencia gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead with an RBI groundout to short.
Toronto found the scoreboard in the fourth in similar fashion. Gonzalez issued a single to Adam Lind to start the inning and a double to Arencibia, putting runners on second and third. Brett Lawrie's sacrifice fly to center cut the deficit to 2-1.
Jones continued his recent success in the seventh facing Aaron Loup. He crushed the first pitch he saw over the left-field wall, extending the Orioles' advantage to 3-1.
Toronto's best chances came against Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter, who escaped bases-loaded jams in the seventh and eighth innings.
With two down and a runner on first in the seventh, Hunter relieved Brian Matusz, but served up back-to-back singles to load the bases. He ended the inning by striking out Nate McLouth.
One inning later, the righty walked Colby Rasmus to load the bags, then gave up Kawasaki's bloop single to center that just missed the diving attempt from second baseman Alexi Casilla, bringing the Jays within 3-2.
Hunter responded impressively, though, by forcing two consecutive outs.
Melky Cabrera hit a grounder to first, with Baltimore's first baseman Davis coming home to get the force out. Jose Bautista then smacked a sharp liner back to the mound, but Hunter grabbed the ball with his bare and, and made the easy play to first to end the threat and the inning.
Wieters' third double of the game came with two outs in the top of the ninth. The lefty clubbed a liner down the right-field line, plating two runners to make it 5-2, but Johnson couldn't hold on for the win.
The Orioles scored five runs for their ninth straight road game, tying the team record set from July 19-August 8, 1998 ... Jones has nine homers in 13 games in Toronto since the start of 2012 ... It was Jenkins' first start since a 12-4 win at Boston on May 12 ... Both teams finished with a combined 102 hits in the series, breaking the previous record of 97, set between the two clubs from June 23-26, 2003.
05/26 19:49:56 ET