TORONTO, Ont. — The Toronto Blue Jays continued to have trouble with the Orioles, out-hitting them but losing for a second straight game. That might have to do with the fact that Baltimore scored three runs in the top of the first inning for the second straight game.
Here are three things that stood out to me about the Jays’ 10th one-run loss of the season:
GOTTA GET THAT THIRD OUT
R.A. Dickey didn’t have a great afternoon, allowing six runs on nine hits over 6.2 innings, and what made it such a rough day was his inability to shut down the opposition with two out.
All six of the runs that Dickey allowed came as a result of two-strike hits. The Orioles had runners at first and second and two out in the first, and two out and nobody on in the second and seventh — all those situations without a run having been scored — and from that point on in those innings, the O’s were 5 for 7 off Dickey with a walk and two home runs.
The Blue Jays managed a trio of two-out RBI singles, but they were trumped by the O’s double and two homers.
REGRESSION TO THE MEAN
It wasn’t enough for the Blue Jays to pick up a win, but they got three hits from each of Jose Bautista and Adam Lind and a pair out of Melky Cabrera as part of their overall 13-hit attack.
The Blue Jays had all kinds of trouble with their offence in April, but things have turned around decidedly as the calendar has flipped to May, especially for those three.
Bautista is hitting .382/.495/.605 in May, with Lind at .350/.400/.650 for the month. Even playing on only one leg, Cabrera has hit .345/.370/.517 in May.
With the Blue Jays bats so cool in the beginning of the season, it was only a matter of time until they started to heat up, and they’re not going to stay this hot for the rest of the season, by any means. It’s just unfortunate that the Jays haven’t taken advantage of the heat — Saturday’s loss to the Orioles dropped them to 10-12 for the month.
CECIL B. ON FIRE
Brett Cecil has experienced a career resurgence with his transition to the bullpen, and he is on a serious run of dominance right now. The lefty came on in the seventh, after Dickey gave up Adam Jones’ two-out solo homer, and he struck out major-league home run leader Chris Davis to end the inning.
Cecil came back out for the eighth and threw a perfect frame, striking out J.J. Hardy and Danny Valencia and getting Yamaico Navarro to ground out, before giving way to Aaron Loup, who worked a perfect ninth.
The four straight hitters retired made it 10 in a row overall for Cecil. He’s set down 19 of the last 20 batters he’s faced, with eight strikeouts.
Only seven of those 20 hitters have been left-handed, and the one hit he’s allowed was to one of those lefties, James Loney.