BALTIMORE — An error, a three-run homer and Marco Estrada provided the Toronto Blue Jays with a feel-good victory against the Baltimore Orioles.
Estrada matched his career high with 12 strikeouts , Devon Travis took care of the offense and Toronto averted a three-game sweep with a 3-1 win on Sunday.
Travis connected in the first inning off Wade Miley (1-2) following a two-out error and a single. Those three unearned runs turned out to be enough to provide last-place Toronto with its second victory in nine games against the Orioles this season.
“I think it’s huge, especially where we’re at,” manager John Gibbons said. “It’s been a tough go.”
Estrada (3-2) allowed one run, five hits and a walk over 7 2/3 innings. His only other 12-strikeout game came against Cincinnati on June 26, 2012.
“Great lineup,” the right-hander said. “You have to make pitches because any one of them can hit it out, especially in this ballpark.”
Estrada is 5-1 against Baltimore, including 1-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts this year.
“He’s always pitched so well against this team,” Gibbons said. “This is maybe the toughest ballpark to pitch in especially a day game when it’s warm. The ball flies.”
Baltimore’s Adam Jones hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, but that was the extent of the damage against Estrada.
Joe Smith struck out Chris Davis with two on in the eighth, and Roberto Osuna got three outs for his sixth save in nine chances.
Toronto has been trying for weeks to recover from a 2-11 start. The Jays were starting to gather a bit of momentum before dropping a pair of two-run games — the first in extra innings — to start this series.
“When you lose the first two games obviously you want to stop that,” Estrada said. “You don’t want to get swept anywhere. Just to win a ballgame, is all.”
Jones went 3 for 4, but the Orioles fell to 15-4 at home.
Miley gave up three runs, none of them earned, and six hits over seven innings. The left-hander hasn’t won since April 14.
“He gave us a great chance to win today,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We just couldn’t do anything against Estrada.”
Baltimore committed a season-high three errors. The most costly miscue was the first-inning grounder up the middle botched by second baseman Jonathan Schoop, which set up Travis’ drive into the left-field seats.
“Tough play,” Showalter said. “You know what happens sometimes? When guys are in shifts … it’s just a different look. Different angles, different hops, different sight lines.”
Travis went 2 for 4, his sixth multihit game in seven starts. He is 15 for 28 during that span, lifting his batting average 72 points to .239.
“I’m just trying to stick with the approach and trusting the process,” Travis said.
Jones’ home run was his 124th home run at Camden Yards, tying Rafael Palmeiro for the most in the history of the ballpark.
“It’s impressive,” Showalter said. “Think about all the people who have played here in the last 26 years.”
Miley was as sharp as he’s been all season, but it wasn’t good enough.
“Made one mistake early on and Travis did a good job, put a pretty good swing on that ball,” he said.
It was the second time in his career he took a loss without allowing an earned run. It also happened in 2012, when he was with Arizona against Pittsburgh.
The Orioles optioned RHP Miguel Castro to Double-A Bowie after the game.
CAN’T SIT NOW
Orioles catcher Welington Castillo received his fourth career start as a designated hitter after delivering three homers with seven RBIs in his previous two games. Showalter said: “It’s hard to keep him out of the lineup right now.” Perhaps he should have: Castillo went 0 for 4.
Orioles: Placed INF Ryan Flaherty on the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. “It could very possibly be longer than that,” Showalter said. Baltimore recalled INF Paul Janish from Triple-A Norfolk.
Blue Jays: After taking Monday off, Toronto calls on right-hander Joe Biagini (1-2, 3.41 ERA) in the opener of a two-game series in Milwaukee.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.52 ERA) gets his eighth start of the season when Baltimore launches a three-game series against the surprising Minnesota Twins.