BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles did just about everything necessary to win before Jonathan Schoop finally completed the task in the 13th inning.
Schoop doubled in the game’s lone run, and Baltimore’s diligence over the course of the lengthy evening produced a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Using great defence, solid pitching and timely hitting, the Orioles earned their eighth win in nine games. They stand just 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the top AL wild card.
"Every time you win, it’s fun," Schoop said. "Everybody does the job. That’s why we win."
Manny Machado led off the 13th with an infield hit off Aaron Loup (2-3) and Schoop followed with a liner to right-centre that put an end to a game that lasted nearly 4 1/2 hours.
That was the highlight, but there were many key plays before that.
Toronto missed a chance to take the lead in the ninth when Kevin Pillar was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Darwin Barney’s one-out grounder to Schoop at second.
That was the closest either team came to scoring until the top of the 13th, when left fielder Trey Mancini made a leaping catch to rob Steve Pearce of a potential RBI double.
"He hit that ball as hard as you can hit it, so Mancini did one (heck) of a job," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "That will be on a highlight reel."
Orioles starter Kevin Gausman blanked Toronto on five hits over six-plus innings, his second straight scoreless start. He struck out eight and was pulled after his only walk of the game.
"It’s a good game to win," manager Buck Showalter said, "but you’ve got to do so many things for it to happen."
Jimmy Yacabonis (1-0) worked the 13th for his first major league victory.
"It really was a great ballgame," Gibbons said. "Both teams played very well; both teams pitched very well. There were some big plays on both sides."
Toronto starter Joe Biagini had a career-high 10 strikeouts over seven innings in the best outing of his two-year major league career. Making his 13th career start, the right-hander allowed five hits — all singles — and retired the last 15 batters he faced.
Biagini was 2-8 with a 6.02 ERA as a starter this season.
"The challenge for me has been trying to find consistency," Biagini said. "It’s nice to throw one of those in there every once in a while."
Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones was ejected in the first inning by home plate umpire Pat Hoberg, who took exception to Jones yelling from the dugout following a three-pitch strikeout. It was Jones’ second career ejection, both this season.
Jones was replaced by Craig Gentry, who left in the fourth inning with a fractured right middle finger.
Gentry will be examined by a doctor and could be sidelined for more than a week.
NO TICKET NEEDED
Pearce dived into the seats to snag a foul ball in the eighth inning. The former Oriole took out a fan in the process, and after the inning he gave a baseball to the guy he flattened.
Blue Jays: LHP Carlos Ramirez, a converted outfielder, was recalled and pitched two perfect innings in his major league debut. Toronto also recalled OFs Teoscar Hernandez and Michael Saunders, along with INF Richard Urena, who made his big league debut in the ninth and stayed to the finish.
Orioles: Recalled OF Joey Rickard and Yacabonis; selected the contracts of INF Pedro Alvarez, RHP Richard Rodriguez and C Chance Sisco. RHPs Logan Verrett and Tyler Wilson were designated for assignment.
Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak (right calf strain) missed a third straight start, appearing only as a pinch hitter in the seventh. … C Luke Maile (knee) was reinstated from the DL.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy will receive an injection in his sore elbow but should be activated from the 60-day DL on Monday, Showalter said.
Blue Jays: Staff ace Marcus Stroman (11-6, 3.11 ERA) starts Saturday night. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over Wade Miley and the Orioles on June 28.
Orioles: Miley (8-10, 4.99 ERA) seeks to win his third straight start. He went 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA in August.