TORONTO -- Jose Bautista's two-run shot helped bring the Blue Jays all the way back from an early seven-run deficit. But it wasn't enough to subdue the Orioles in a difficult 13-9 loss on Sunday at Rogers Centre.
Trailing 7-0 in the second inning, the Blue Jays fought back to tie the game before Bautista launched his 14th homer of the season over the center-field wall, giving Toronto an unlikely 9-7 lead in the fourth inning.
"We ended up climbing back in it with that two-run lead," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the homer. "We just couldn't throw up any zeros."
The Blue Jays were on cusp of overcoming a deficit of at least seven runs for the second time in the last 10 days -- and sixth time in franchise history -- after they knocked Orioles starter Chris Tillman from the game with a six-run second inning, which was followed by Bautista's big blast two frames later.
The Blue Jays' slugger was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a pair of walks, reaching base in four of his five plate appearances on the afternoon. He was instrumental early in the Blue Jays' attempted comeback, swatting a single on a soft liner in the second inning that scored Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes, as Toronto began to claw its way back into the game.
But despite his best efforts -- and back-to-back homers by Ezequiel Carrera and Kevin Pillar -- the Blue Jays were unable to hold the lead, as the Orioles charged back to retake the lead in the ninth.
Gibbons said he had mixed emotions about the loss. On one hand, he was impressed by his club's offence. On the other, he said, the bullpen's performance left a lot to be desired.
I'm proud of the guys. We've got a great offence," Gibbons said. "What we did today was tough to do. But they've got [a great offence] over there, too."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.