Gausman pitches 7 innings, Orioles top Jays 2-1 to snap skid


Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (39) works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO | Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman didn’t expect his team’s struggling offense to produce much against Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman.

As it turned out, the two runs Baltimore scored off Stroman in the first inning were just enough for Gausman to get the job done.

Adam Jones had two hits and an RBI, Gausman pitched seven strong innings and Baltimore beat Toronto 2-1 on Wednesday night, snapping a six-game losing streak.

The Orioles have scored two runs or fewer in six of their past seven.

“Stroman was pitching today so I knew runs were going to be at a premium,” said Gausman, a graduate of Aurora’s Grandview High School.

“Once we got those two runs I just kind of told myself ‘Hey, those are your runs, that’s all you’re going to get today,’ he added. “Unfortunately, that’s the way it was but luckily I was able to pound the strike zone, keep mixing my pitches and keep them off balance.”

Gausman (11-10) allowed one run and six hits, improving to 3-0 with a 1.51 ERA in six starts against the Blue Jays this season, as the Orioles won for the first time since Sept. 5 against the Yankees.

“That was very big,” said outfielder Trey Mancini, who hit an RBI triple in the first. “At this point in the year there’s not many games left so you want to win every single one. Today was a good start to try and get that rolling.”

The Orioles began the day 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card spot.

“We’re right there,” Gausman said. “We’ve just got to keep winning games.”

Kendrys Morales had three hits for the Blue Jays, whose four-game winning streak was halted.

Darren O’Day pitched the eighth and Zach Britton finished for his 14th save in 16 chances. Britton gave up two runs in the ninth inning Tuesday as the Orioles lost 3-2.

Baltimore’s Tim Beckham began the game by reaching on third baseman Josh Donaldson’s throwing error. Two outs later, Beckham scored when Jones doubled over the head of left fielder Teoscar Hernandez. Mancini followed with an RBI triple off the wall in center.

Toronto halved the deficit in the third when Hernandez hit a leadoff double and scored on Richard Urena’s bloop double to shallow left.