By Ryan Baillargeon and Brittany Ghiroli
BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters' two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted Baltimore to a much-needed 5-3, series-evening win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
The first-place Blue Jays, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped, remain atop the American League East, while the O's -- who had lost four of five coming in -- moved to three back in the division and maintain a slim lead for the AL's second Wild Card spot. Baltimore also moved to a game back of Boston for the top Wild Card spot due to the Red Sox's loss to the Rays.
"After Schoopy saw five or six sliders, I was pretty much thinking I was going to get a fastball," Wieters said. "Fastball command can be a little bit difficult after throwing so many sliders, so I was looking for something up, something middle and I was able to get it."
Both starters matched each other, as Toronto lefty J.A. Happ allowed three runs on six hits -- including two homers -- over 6 1/3 innings. Steve Pearce hit a solo shot and Manny Machado put the O's up, 3-1, with a two-run homer in the fifth, becoming the youngest O's player to reach 100 career home runs.
"I wasn't at my best tonight, but this is an elite team, especially at home," Happ said. "They're tough. I think I made a couple mistakes; they made me pay."
"You can say a lot of different things about things that happened in the game," O's manager Buck Showalter said, "but none of it means anything if we don't get that type of start from [Jimenez]."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Manny hits 100: Machado became the youngest player in Orioles history to reach the 100-home run mark at just 24 years, 55 days old. He eclipsed the previous Baltimore record, set by Eddie Murray in 1980 at 24 years and 177 days. The two-run blast was his 32nd home run of the year, and it also was his hardest-hit homer of 2016 at 112.7 mph. More >
"Hard work pays off, honestly. It's an honor just to be in the conversation as those guys," Machado said of players like Murray and Cal Ripken Jr., who also reached 100 homers at 24 years old. "Those guys played the game the right way, did a lot for this game and obviously it paid off for them. So any time I can be mentioned in the same category as them is just a blessing."
Saunders stays hot vs. O's: While a sore hamstring has limited Saunders' playing time recently, he capitalized on his start against a team he's dominated this season. After he doubled and came around to score on Kevin Pillar's single in the second, Saunders mashed a two-run homer in the seventh that traveled an estimated 422 feet, per Statcast™. In 14 games against the Orioles this year, Saunders is hitting .434 with six homers, 17 runs and 14 RBIs.
You go, Ubaldo: The righty has been impressive since stepping in for Tillman. Jimenez has posted back-to-back quality starts, and after being removed from the rotation earlier this year, he is stating his case in late August. More >
"It feels really good. It's something I wanted to do since the beginning of the year. I wasn't able to, but I never give up," Jimenez said. "I always figure out a way to get up and be there for the team, and I've been able to be there for him the last two games. Hopefully it keeps going."
Grilli's scoreless streak ends: Grilli was making a bid to go all of August without allowing a run, but Wieters' two-run shot snapped his streak of 13 2/3 straight scoreless innings. It was the first runs he allowed since Machado took him deep July 29 in Toronto. Grilli has allowed seven earned runs over 32 2/3 innings (1.93 ERA) with the Blue Jays since he was acquired from Atlanta. More >
"He's been unbelievable," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We're not sitting where we're at right now without him, that's for sure."
"He's had some good stretches for us, and we are hoping this is one of those. We are going to need it." -- Showalter, on Jimenez
WHAT'S NEXT Blue Jays:Aaron Sanchez (12-2, 2.99 ERA) returns to the Majors for Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. ET series finale after being sent down for 10 days to keep his innings in check. The young righty has been great this season, though he allowed five runs (four earned) over four innings against the Indians on Aug. 20. Sanchez is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA against the Orioles in three starts this year.
Orioles:Yovani Gallardo will get the ball for the O's in the rubber game. The righty is coming off the shortest start of his career, a four-out outing in Friday's blowout loss to the Yankees.