Price's 100th win extends Blue Jays' division lead
By Gregor Chisholm and Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- David Price tossed seven strong innings to earn the 100th victory of his career while Jose Bautista went 2-for-4 with a homer and a pair of RBIs to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-1 victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
The victory moved Toronto 1 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Baltimore dropped to 12 games back in the division, and its deficit for the second Wild Card is 6 1/2 games.
Price walked four batters for the second time this season, but it didn't seem to matter. He scattered three hits and struck out eight while limiting the Orioles to 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Price has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a start since joining the Blue Jays prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"That's awesome, it's been parts of seven seasons to get here," Price said of the career milestone. "It has been a lot of good games and I'm pumped for every one that I get."
Bautista provided the bulk of the early offense with another impressive day at the plate. He homered in the first inning and added an RBI double in the third as Toronto took an early lead. Infielders Ryan Goins and Justin Smoak also contributed a pair of two-hit games.
Orioles right-hander Mike Wright was charged with the loss after allowing three runs over four innings in his first start since being activated from the disabled list. Wright surrendered seven hits and walked one, while striking out four. Caleb Joseph drove in the O's only run with a single in the seventh.
"If we'd have scored seven runs today, we'd be talking about how well Mike pitched," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bautista blast: Bautista started the Blue Jays off on the right note with a solo homer to left in the first inning off Wright. According to Statcast™, Bautista's 32nd of the year was projected to travel 407 and left his bat at 103 mph. Toronto's slugger came up big again in the third with a one-out double over the head of center fielder Adam Jones to score Kevin Pillar from second.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Bautista said. "I was very aware of his fastball because of the first few pitches. I felt like the ball was getting on me. He threw a slider and kind of hung it there. I did get out in front of it a little bit, but I kept my hands back and I was able to square it up and make good contact." More >
O's leave a pair stranded: After Chris Davis walked and later scored to break Price's shutout bid in the seventh, Baltimore wasn't able to inflict any further damage, leaving a pair stranded to end the inning. With runners on first and second, Price whiffed Junior Lake and Paul Janish with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and the threat.
Ryan keeps Goins: Goins extended his on-base streak to 16 games with a double in the fourth inning, but he wasn't done there. Toronto's second baseman also added an RBI double in the fifth as part of a two-run inning off Orioles reliever Jason Garcia. Goins has a .299 average with a .419 on-base percentage since July 28.
"Jose had a nice day, but he does that a lot. ... Ryan keeps swinging the bat. We did a lot of good things," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They [threw] some pretty good arms at us today too. … It wasn't an easy day, it wasn't an easy win by any means."
"David's been doing that for a long time. We shouldn't feel like he's picking on us." -- Showalter, on Price's outing
"That's why he's here. Against a tough-hitting lineup … he's been in Tampa, in Detroit, but he's faced most of those guys in that lineup so many times so that makes it doubly tough to face guys like that, and to shut them down is pretty impressive." -- Gibbons, on Price
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Left-hander Brett Cecil tossed a scoreless ninth inning for the Blue Jays, and he has now gone 23 consecutive outings without allowing a run. He's riding a 21-inning scoreless streak, which is the longest active streak in the Majors.
Blue Jays infielder Cliff Pennington was ejected at the end of the sixth inning for an apparent disagreement with home-plate umpire Tim Timmons. The incident happened because Bautista was upset after he tried to check his swing, but was told he went around. Pennington attempted to get between Bautista and the umpire and according to his version of events, he simply told Timmons that he didn't need to continue looking in their direction.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles:Chris Tillman will take the mound for the O's in the series finale at 1:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre. The right -hander is 4-9 with a 5.58 ERA against the Blue Jays in 18 career starts. He's faced Toronto four times this season, posting an 0-3 record with a 15.00 ERA.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada will get the call when the Blue Jays close out their three-game series against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at 1:07 p.m. ET. This outing originally belonged to left-hander Mark Buehrle, but he was pushed back another day to provide additional rest. Estrada will be making this start on regular rest because of Thursday's off-day.