Blue Jays outmuscle O's to lift wild Sanchez to first win
By Gregor Chisholm and Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- Devon Travis and Justin Smoak each homered, while right-hander Aaron Sanchez somehow pitched around seven walks in the Blue Jays' 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.
Both home runs were charged to Baltimore right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. Smoak's two-run shot in the fourth inning marked the end of a 13 2/3-innings scoreless streak to begin the season for Jimenez. He also battled some control problems on the mound with three walks in the fifth, including one which came around to score on Travis' go-ahead homer.
Sanchez found a way to be successful even though it wasn't pretty. The rookie hurler set a career high with the seven walks, but only one of them came around to score when Jimmy Paredes hit an opposite-field two-run homer in the third. Sanchez continued on and got through 5 1/3 innings, allowing two hits while striking out four to earn his first win of the season.
"That's what's tough with what I throw," Sanchez said. "I have a sinker that has tremendous life, and when I don't have that down pat, I get away from myself and things start going south. But I'll work on that this week in my bullpen and harness that through the rest of the year."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Travis back with a bang: Travis' homer marked his third time reaching base during the game, and he clearly wasn't feeling any of the ill effects from a bruised rib cage that caused him to miss Tuesday's series opener. The 24-year-old arrived in the big leagues this year with a reputation of having a plus bat for a middle infielder, but the early power has still come as a surprise. Travis already has four home runs after hitting 10 over 100 games with Double-A Erie last season. More >
Paredes goes deep: The O's designated hitter homered for the first time this season to spot Baltimore a 2-0 lead, extending his hit streak to four games after Sanchez walked Caleb Joseph to start the third.
Orioles unable to capitalize: After grounding into a pair of double plays to end the first two innings, the Orioles had a golden opportunity to climb back into a 4-2 game with the bases loaded in the sixth, but they couldn't convert.
In the seventh, Alejandro De Aza was caught stealing third with two outs and Davis at the plate.
And in the ninth, after Machado led off with a double against Blue Jays closer Miguel Castro and Flaherty walked, Joseph struck out and pinch-hitter Delmon Young grounded into a double play to end the game. More >
"It wasn't even a topic of conversation, especially when they played the national anthem. But I understand how people make it relevant." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on the day after tempers flared between the two teams More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sanchez's career-high seven walks came within two of tying a franchise record. Four pitchers have walked nine batters in a game while wearing a Blue Jays uniform: Jesse Jefferson, Jim Clancy, Pat Hentgen and most recently Chris Carpenter in 1999. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles:Chris Tillman will get the start in Thursday's 7:07 p.m. ET finale against the Blue Jays, and he has looked good in two of three outings this season, his lone blemish coming against Toronto at Camden Yards on April 12. The right-hander is a career 4-7 with a 4.68 ERA in 15 starts against the Blue Jays. He's 2-4 in eight career starts at Rogers Centre.
Blue Jays:Drew Hutchison will look to get his season back on track against the Orioles after a rough start to the season. Toronto's Opening Day starter has allowed 11 runs over his last nine innings and has yet to pitch the way he is capable. Hutchison has faced Baltimore once already this season and allowed seven runs over 4 1/3 innings.
is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the
Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.