Buehrle buckles down for third win over O's

Lefty goes 6 innings in tight contest before Blue Jays' bats erupt late

Buehrle buckles down for third win over O's

BALTIMORE -- The final score won't show it, but Mark Buehrle was in the middle of a pitchers' duel Tuesday night, and without his quality start, there's a good chance the Blue Jays would not have come away with a victory.

Toronto picked up a 10-2 win over the Orioles, but when Buehrle walked off the mound at the end of the sixth inning, the game was tied, 2-2. Earlier in that sixth, Baltimore had the potential go-ahead run at second with one out until Buehrle induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Delmon Young.

Blue Jays turn two

The Blue Jays rewarded Buehrle in the top of the seventh inning by scoring four runs. Toronto added another four in the eighth to turn the game into a blowout, but until those final innings, Buehrle had been forced to earn it every step of the way.

"First couple of innings, I felt like I pitched pretty good, and I got into some jams the last couple of innings, but pitched out of it," said Buehrle, who allowed the two runs on four hits over six innings.

"I wish I went deeper, but I might be getting to that point of my career where getting five, six, seven innings, see where my pitch count is at, and see if I'm getting into trouble late in the game, and if I'm cruising, I can go back out there for another one."

Buehrle improved to 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA in three outings against the Orioles this season, compared with a 7.29 ERA against the rest of the league. The veteran lefty was quick to point out that while the numbers look good this year, there are a lot of Orioles hitters who have done damage against him, and the bigger reason behind the success in 2015 has been run support.

Toronto has combined to score 35 runs in those three Buehrle outings. That's allowed Buehrle to cruise through a couple of those starts, and while it wasn't nearly as easy Tuesday night, he was at least able to relax for the final three innings once the game was out of reach.

"I've gotten a lot of run support against these guys, especially the first two games," Buehrle said. "When you get 10-12 runs a game, it's hard not to pitch good and win. This game, it was a close game all the way through until the last couple of innings.

"This is a great offense over there, these guys, if you look at the numbers against me it's not very good. Some of these guys crush me. There's no comfort level this year, it's just that we've scored runs and played good defense behind me."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.