Estrada flirts with no-no as Blue Jays nip Orioles
By Gregor Chisholm and Brittany Ghiroli
TORONTO -- Marco Estrada carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, but pinch-hitter Jimmy Paredes spoiled an otherwise special night with a leadoff blooper to left field in the Blue Jays' 5-4 victory over the Orioles on Friday night at Rogers Centre.
Estrada was looking to become the second pitcher in franchise history to toss a no-hitter. Right-hander Dave Stieb no-hit the Indians on Sept. 2, 1990.
The 31-year-old Estrada walked four batters in the first three innings, but besides that, he was flawless until the eighth. The walks did lead to an elevated pitch count as Estrada stepped on the mound in the top of the eighth having already tossed 113. That prompted a quick hook when Paredes led off the eighth with a blooper to left.
"In the Minor Leagues, I came pretty close," Estrada said. "I think I got into the ninth and I actually got taken out with no hits. But I'm just glad we won today. If it would have happened awesome, if not, which it didn't, that's fine, I just wanted to win today."
Right-hander Roberto Osuna entered and eventually allowed the inherited runner to score. Estrada struck out six and tossed 118 pitches, and matched his season high by logging seven innings. It was his longest outing since he went 7 2/3 against the Cubs on April 26, 2014.
Edwin Encarnacion went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Chris Colabello also enjoyed a two-hit night while Justin Smoak added an RBI double. Orioles right-hander Mike Wright couldn't make it out of the second inning as he allowed four runs on three hits and four walks.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Estrada loses the no-no: Estrada had his eyes set on a no-hitter until Paredes came up in the eighth. He sent a blooper to shallow left that made for an impossible catch by either Ezequiel Carrera or Jose Reyes. An elevated pitch count meant that Estrada was immediately pulled from the game as he left the field to a standing ovation. The veteran right-hander has never even thrown a complete game in his career let alone flirted with this kind of special night. More >
Bautista's HBP sparks rally: It didn't take long for the rivalry between these two American League East teams to be renewed. With two out in the first inning, Bautista was grazed by a 91-mph fastball from Wright. Both dugouts were warned and Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected. That seemed to spark the Blue Jays as Encarnacion and Smoak followed with a pair of RBI doubles to open the scoring. More >
Nothing goes Wright: The Orioles rookie turned in the shortest start of his young career, recording just four outs in an outing in which he struggled immediately. After a two-out hit-by-pitch to Bautista opened the door for a pair of runs, Wright issued three walks -- bringing his total to four -- and got just one out in the second before his night ended. More >
"I don't like not going deep into the game, especially when it's because I'm not throwing strikes," Wright said. "For me not to even give my team a chance by walking guys, it's not my game and definitely something I'm not very happy about."
O's late surge: A Baltimore lineup that didn't have a hit off Estrada until the eighth inning came alive late in the game. After a pair of eighth-inning runs, the O's again loaded the bases in the ninth and Adam Jones' two-out single brought Baltimore within one.
"Estrada threw great, tip your hat to the man. But we put ourselves in a position to take the lead," Jones said. "I'm sure people were watching the game saying, 'Eh this is going to be a tough loss for the Orioles.' But we grinded it out and made it a game."
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Kevin Gausman will make his first start of the season the middle game of the road series on Saturday at 1:07 p.m. ET.
Blue Jays: Veteran lefty Mark Buehrle starts the rematch against the O's on Saturday at Rogers Centre. Buehrle hasn't allowed an earned run over his last three starts. He's 7-4 with a 4.01 ERA.