The Associated Press
BALTIMORE–One night after setting a dubious record for losses, the Baltimore Orioles were ready to savour a rare win against a division rival.
Rookie DJ Stewart hit his first major-league home run and Baltimore used five pitchers to avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 last night.
The Orioles bounced back one night after taking their 108th loss of the season–the most since moving to Baltimore in 1954.
They remained three away from the franchise mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
“I was thinking about it tonight how many times I walked down that long hall to get here after a great win, trying to temper the enthusiasm,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I still feel elated after we win a game and then I think about all the good things that went on, especially defensively tonight.”
Jimmy Yacabonis started for Baltimore and threw four scoreless innings, followed by Mike Wright (4-2), who blanked the Jays over two innings.
Miguel Castro allowed a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the eighth that cut the lead to 2-1 before Tanner Scott managed the final out of the inning.
Mychal Givens then picked up his eighth save for Baltimore.
Stewart, who was promoted Sept. 11 from ‘AAA’ Norfolk, gave the Orioles the lead when he led off the third with a towering shot off Jays’ starter Marco Estrada that caromed off the right-field foul pole.
He also had a double in the seventh and scored an insurance run on a single by Cedric Mullins off Tim Mayza.
“I’ve felt comfortable every at-bat pretty much,” Stewart said. “I think there was one at-bat I kind of went up there chasing a little bit, just trying to get that hit.
“I felt comfortable for the most part,” he added. “But whenever you see one fall for the first time, it’s a little bit of a relief that not only are you feeling well but you’re seeing the results also.
“It was definitely big for me.”
Toronto wound up winning the season series 14-5.
“Any chance you have to try and sweep a team is a big one,” Jays’ manager John Gibbons said.
“We have had a pretty tough year ourselves so you try to build and win as many games as you can.”
Estrada (7-13) bounced back from his previous outing when he tied a career-high by allowing eight runs against the N.Y. Yankees.
He was charged with one run and four hits, with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings.
“It was a good outing. I made a lot of good pitches,” Estrada said. “One got away from me and the kid hit it out, congrats to him.
“Weren’t too many hard-hit balls.”