Travis and Smoak homer, Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-2
TORONTO (AP) Devon Travis returned from a brief injury absence and picked up right where he left off: hitting the ball hard.
Travis got three hits, including a go-ahead home run that sent the Toronto Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Wednesday night.
''He's a special kid,'' manager John Gibbons said of the rookie infielder. ''He's got a great idea of the strike zone.''
Travis came in leading all big league rookies in average and RBIs. He returned to the lineup after leaving Sunday's game against Atlanta when he was hit by a pitch in the ribs.
With four home runs, he's tied with Toronto sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion for the team lead. To Travis, that's ''crazy.''
''I don't know what's happening,'' Travis said of his early power surge. ''That's just a blessing because I don't know where the heck that's coming from.''
Justin Smoak also connected for the Blue Jays, whose 21 homers are tied with the Yankees for the most in the majors.
Aaron Sanchez (1-2) overcame seven walks in 5 1/3 innings as the Blue Jays posted back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.
''We didn't take advantage of the walks,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Brett Cecil got two outs in the eighth and Miguel Castro recorded four outs for his third save.
Pinch hitter Delmon Young grounded into a game-ending double play with two runners on. Toronto turned four double plays.
Travis hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1) that broke a 2-all tie.
Jose Reyes singled to begin the fifth and Travis followed with a drive into the batter's eye in dead center.
''I was supposed to throw the splitter down and I left it right in the middle,'' Jimenez said.
Jimmy Paredes put the Orioles ahead with a two-run homer.
Smoak hit a two-run shot in the fourth, the first runs Jimenez had allowed this season. Jimenez allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. All three of his walks came in the fourth.
''I was trying to be too fine,'' Jimenez said. ''I was trying to nibble too much around the corners and throwing too many breaking balls and that made me fall behind.''
Sanchez left with runners at first and second after a one-out walk to Travis Snider in the sixth. Manny Machado singled off rookie Roberto Osuna to load the bases, but the Blue Jays escaped when Ryan Flaherty popped out and Caleb Joseph struck out.
Alejando De Aza singled with one out in the Baltimore seventh and went to second on an error by left fielder Ryan Goins. After Paredes flied out, De Aza was thrown out trying to steal third.
Showalter wasn't happy that De Aza didn't give slugger Chris Davis a chance to bat with a runner in scoring position.
''You'd like to give Chris a chance to swing the bat there,'' Showalter said.
COOLER HEADS PREVAIL
One night after Bautista got in a shouting match with Orioles OF Adam Jones after admiring a long home run, there was no sign of ill feeling on either side. ''It wasn't even a topic of conversation, especially once they played the anthem,'' Showalter said. Sanchez threw a pitch over the head of Joseph in the third, but it was viewed as unintentional.
Jones' six-game hitting streak against Toronto ended with an 0 for 3 night. Joseph's career-high seven-game hitting streak ended with his 0 for 3.
Orioles: Minor league prospect Hunter Harvey (broken leg) made 15 pitches from a half mound and played long toss. He is on the minor league disabled list.
Blue Jays: Bautista sat out because of a strained right shoulder. He was hurt trying to throw out a Baltimore batter from right field during Tuesday's testy game. Bautista won't play the outfield for the next few days and could end up on the disabled list if his shoulder doesn't improve soon.
Orioles RH Chris Tillman (2-1) faces Blue Jays RH Drew Hutchison (1-0) in Thursday's series finale. Hutchison has failed to finish the fifth inning in his past two starts, including an April 12 game at Baltimore in which he allowed seven runs and two home runs. Tillman, who took the loss for the Orioles that day, also allowed seven runs and two homers as Toronto won 10-7.