Orioles catch break when Jays' catcher can't catch ball
BALTIMORE — Of all the games the Orioles have played since moving to Baltimore in 1954, they've never had one end like this.
They beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Wednesday night when Caleb Joseph scored on a passed ball with two outs in the 10th inning.
It's the first time the Orioles have won a game that ended with a passed ball, according to STATS, LLC.
"Scoring runs is scoring runs," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "It's always important to have different ways to do it."
The Orioles scored three runs in the first inning, then waited until the 10th to strike again. After Joseph doubled off rookie Joe Biagini (0-1), Joey Rickard got an infield hit and Manny Machado walked.
With Adam Jones at the plate, a slider from Biagini got past Josh Thole and Joseph sprinted home.
"I just missed the ball," Thole said. "I have to catch those."
It was only the second time in franchise history the Blue Jays lost on a passed ball. The other time was against Detroit in April 1991.
"He's a pro; he's a great catcher back there," teammate Michael Saunders said of Thole. "Things like that can happen to anybody."
Mychal Givens (1-0) worked the 10th for Baltimore.
Josh Donaldson hit his sixth home run and Edwin Encarnacion had two RBIs for the Blue Jays, whose three-game winning streak ended. Toronto stranded 10 and went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
"A lot of lost opportunities," manager John Gibbons acknowledged.
Down 3-2, the Blue Jays pulled even in the seventh. After Jones made a sensational diving catch of a sinking liner to center by Jose Bautista with Saunders on third base, Encarnacion delivered a two-out double.
Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in five nerve-racking innings. The right-hander allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in each inning but limited Toronto to a 1-for-7 performance with runners in scoring position.
"I guess I found the pitches that I need," Jimenez said. "I executed when I needed, when I was in those situations with a runner on base. I was able to get back and throw a split for a strike, or a breaking ball or a fastball in to a lefty."
Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey overcame a shaky start to limit Baltimore to three runs and five hits over six innings.
Baltimore's first four batters combined for three hits and a walk. The key blow was an RBI double by Machado, who has a hit in all 13 games this season.
Toronto got to 3-1 in the third when Encarnacion bounced a run-scoring single off Machado's glove at third.
Donaldson opened the fifth with a shot to right.
In the Toronto sixth, Ryan Goins was thrown out at the plate by Rickard, who recovered nicely after making a futile dive to catch Thole's two-out single to left.
"I'd like to catch the ball there, make it a little bit easier," Rickard said. "But I saw the guy in front of me, knew he was going to go, and Caleb made a good tag on him."
Jimenez worked out of jams in the first two innings. With runners at second and third in the first, he snared a line drive and turned a double play. Facing the same situation in the second inning, he struck out Kevin Pillar and Thole.
Blue Jays: Gibbons opted against using closer Roberto Osuna (broken fingernail). The right-hander got four outs Tuesday and said he couldn't throw a slider.
Orioles: LHP Brian Matusz (ribcage) could come off the DL on Saturday, Showalter said. RHP Kevin Gausman (shoulder) made a rehab start with Triple-A Norfolk.
Blue Jays: Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.77 ERA) makes his third start of the season in the series finale.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (1-1, 5.11) pitches for Baltimore, looking to improve on his 4-10 lifetime record against Toronto.