TORONTO (AP) — Baltimore slugger Chris Davis believes he has turned a corner at the plate, and his results over the past week are proof.
Davis homered and had three RBIs, Dylan Bundy pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to snap a four-start losing streak and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Friday night.
Bundy (4-10) delivered a strong performance, allowing three hits and one run with six strikeouts and two walks.
“I thought he was fantastic,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Richard Bleier retired three of the four batters he faced, and Miguel Castro got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to fly out with a man at first and two outs in the eighth.
“I thought he hit that out,” Hyde said of Guerrero Jr.’s drive. “That was obviously a big out to get. Guerrero is obviously super dangerous.”
Paul Fry finished in the ninth for his second save in three opportunities.
Davis opened the scoring with a two-out drive in the second, his seventh. Davis has 40 career home runs against Toronto, more than any other opponent. He’s gone deep 20 times at Rogers Centre, his highest total at any road ballpark.
Davis said he has felt a combination of calm and patience while batting in recent games.
“I’m seeing the ball a little bit better, not fighting myself as much, a little bit calmer,” Davis said. “I’m just taking advantage of pitches in the zone and not missing those pitches. That’s the biggest thing.”
With the Orioles up 2-1 in the ninth, Davis gave Baltimore some breathing room with a two-run single off Joe Biagini. It was Davis’ first multi-RBI game since driving in a pair of runs against the Angels on May 10.
“To come through big there in the ninth inning with a huge single to get us a couple of tack-on runs was enormous,” Hyde said.
After Davis homered in the second, Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez walked the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup, Rio Ruiz and Richie Martin, and gave up an RBI single to Jonathan Villar.
Sanchez (3-12) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. He failed to stop a streak of losing decisions dating to April 27, a victory over Oakland. Sanchez’s 11 consecutive defeats are the most by a Blue Jays starting pitcher in a single season since left-hander Ricky Romero lost 13 straight in 2012.
While the result wasn’t what he wanted, Sanchez still found plenty to be happy about.
“Tonight is the first time I felt like myself in two-and-a-half years,” he said. Sanchez went 15-2 in 2016, leading the AL with a 3.00 ERA.
Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the second, but was left stranded. Justin Smoak struck out before Brandon Drury and Rowdy Tellez grounded out.
Toronto’s Teoscar Hernandez doubled to begin the third, but the Blue Jays couldn’t break through. Eric Sogard flied out and Hernandez moved to third when Freddy Galvis grounded out, but Guerrero Jr. was retired to end the threat.
“It’s huge,” Bundy said of turning Toronto away twice in the early going. “Any time your team scores, you want to have shut down innings and keep them from scoring.”
The Blue Jays got on the board when Drury hit a two-out solo homer in the seventh, his eighth. The homer was Drury’s second in three games.
The Orioles are 3-1 in Toronto this season.
Orioles: RHP Mychal Givens was not available after making a diving play to tag Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier out at home plate on Wednesday. Hyde said Givens was “a little sore,” but added that he expected his closer to be available Saturday.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (strained left pectoral) will not pitch again before the All-Star break. Stroman was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday. A first-time All-Star this season, Stroman may have to skip next week’s game at Cleveland. … OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left wrist) got the day off. Gurriel Jr. jammed his wrist making a diving catch in left field Thursday. … OF Randal Grichuk (back) was held out of the starting lineup.
Orioles: Following the game, Baltimore optioned RHP Josh Lucas to Triple-A Norfolk.
Blue Jays: Toronto optioned LHP Thomas Pannone to Triple-A Buffalo and recalled OF Jonathan Davis.
NIGHT AND DAY
Bundy is 4-3 with a 3.35 ERA in night games and 0-7 with a 5.96 ERA in day games.
Jansen has gone 38 plate appearances between strikeouts, the longest active streak in the majors.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (8-3, 4.03) pitched six shutout innings to beat the Blue Jays in Toronto on April 2.
Blue Jays: LHP Clayton Richard (1-4, 6.51) pitched seven innings to beat Kansas City in his previous start. Richard has worked six or more innings in back-to-back starts for the first time this season.
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