Lawrie in middle of Blue Jays' win over O's

Lawrie in middle of Blue Jays' win over O's

Lawrie in middle of Blue Jays' win over O's
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' offense continued its recent hot streak, and this time, it was the bottom of the order providing most of the damage.

While the heart of Toronto's lineup struggled early in the game, it was up to Brett Lawrie, David Cooper and Rajai Davis to get things done.

The Nos. 7-9 hitters combined to drive in six runs while Ricky Romero tossed six innings in the Blue Jays' 8-6 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

"Just grinding it out, the same thing that I always do," said Lawrie, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. "It hasn't been necessarily working on a specific thing. It's just been going in there and grinding it out, keep grinding out at-bats and trying to get pitches that I can handle.

"Fortunately enough for myself tonight, I hit pitches where they were pitched and hit them on a line."

Toronto was held in check early, but broke through with a two-run inning off right-hander Jake Arrieta in the third. One run came around to score on an errant throw down the first-base line by Baltimore's starter while the second crossed the plate on a grounder by Yunel Escobar.

The production continued in the third, when Lawrie recorded a two-run double and Davis singled for his first RBI since taking over the starting duties in left field from Eric Thames. The Blue Jays then added three more in the fifth on three consecutive RBI singles by Lawrie, Cooper and Davis.

The bottom third of the Blue Jays' lineup combined to post eight hits while scoring four of Toronto's eight runs on the night.

"The biggest thing for me tonight was I thought he stayed behind the baseball," manager John Farrell said of Lawrie. "That's the first time in a while he's driven some balls, some fastballs that were up and away from him driven the other way. He's been in a little bit of a tendency to rush out a little bit and those balls have been flared to right. But he was able to stay on top of it and drive some balls the other way."

Most of the postgame attention went to Lawrie, but Davis was also impressive at the plate. The veteran of seven seasons began the 2011 campaign as the club's starting center fielder, but he eventually lost his full-time job following the midseason acquisition of Colby Rasmus.

Davis has been a part-time player since, but he has an opportunity to re-claim a more prominent role after Thames was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday morning. Davis has been down this road before having been a regular with Oakland and believes consistent playing time is going to lead to better results at the plate.

"I think it's tough, if you feel like you have to go out there and be great just to play another day," said Davis, who is hitting .254 in 36 games this season. "A lot more pressure on yourself as opposed to going out there and knowing you're going to be out there, knowing you're going to go out there and play every day.

"It's just a different mindset, it's a different attitude and I think it's just a lot easier on the player."

Arrieta, who hasn't won since May 2 vs. the Yankees, allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on six hits and three walks while striking out five. Toronto's offense has scored 27 runs in its past four games.

Blue Jays No. 1 starter Ricky Romero entered Tuesday's outing having walked a career-high seven batters in his last start against Tampa Bay. He was able to reduce the walks to one this time around, but he battled some inconsistency on the mound.

Romero surrendered one run in the second on a solo home run by center fielder Adam Jones and experienced some difficulty in the sixth. Romero allowed two the first three batters he faced to reach base before eventually serving up a two-run shot to first baseman Chris Davis. It was Davis' ninth home run and the eighth Romero has surrendered in 11 starts this season.

The left-hander was pulled after the sixth, having been charged with four runs on six hits while striking out seven. Romero hasn't pitched more than six innings since May 2 vs. Texas and has surrendered four runs in three of the five starts since that eight-inning performance.

"I don't care what I've heard about his last start or his previous 40 starts -- I couldn't care less," said Jones, who also added a two-run shot in the ninth inning off Casey Janssen. "The guy is nasty every time he takes the mound. Me and him have a personal vendetta against each other, which is part of the game. He is the ace of the staff and he's doing what they pay him to do."

The Blue Jays have managed to recover from a disheartening road trip that saw the club lose five consecutive games and be outscored in the final series, 34-16, by Texas. Toronto has since won two straight against the Orioles to improve its home record at Rogers Centre to 13-10.

The victory came courtesy of the offense, but Romero overcoming his previous command issues could prove to the bigger storyline as the season reaches its two-month mark.

"I thought he attacked the strike zone much better than the last three or four times out," Farrell said. "Overall a very good step in the right direction for Ricky tonight."

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