Erik Bedard is fast becoming the ace off Baltimore’s pitching staff.
Bedard looks to become baseball’s first five-game winner when the Orioles continue their three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Bedard has won each of his first four starts, including Thursday’s 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians. The Canadian left-hander allowed four runs and six hits—including two homers—in six innings, becoming the first Orioles pitcher since Rodrigo Lopez in 2002 to win his first four starts.
“I had OK stuff. I didn’t feel as strong as the other games,” he said. “Those (homers)—I hung them, but they crushed them. They weren’t cheap home runs.”
Lopez, who made his first five appearances in 2002 out of the bullpen, and Travis Driskill each won their first five decisions that season and are the last Orioles pitchers to go 5-0. The last Baltimore hurler to win his first five starts was Ben McDonald, who won his first seven in 1994.
Tejada picked up where he left off after earning AL player of the week honors on Monday. He’s 22-for-39 (.564) with four homers and 11 RBIs over the last 10 games, and leads the majors with a .434 batting average.
“Miggy’s a great offensive player. I’ve seen him hit some great offensive grooves—especially his first year,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “He’s using the whole field a lot more than he did in the past. He’s using right field a lot. He battled against some really good pitchers and did the job. I think he’s getting back to his old self.”
The Orioles, though, have scored just five runs during their three-game skid, which came after they won nine of 12.
Lyle Overbay, Shea Hillenbrand and Bengie Molina each drove in two runs Tuesday for the Blue Jays (10-8), who have won three of four. Vernon Wells doubled home the go-ahead run in Toronto’s four-run seventh inning.
Wells bats behind Troy Glaus, who was acquired from Arizona in the offseason as Toronto retooled its lineup. Wells is batting .387 this season and is 8-for-20 with two home runs and seven RBIs in his last five games.
Toronto is among the AL leaders with a .310 team average.
“This is a fun lineup to be a part of. Top to bottom, any guy can start a rally at any time,” Wells said. “It’s fun just knowing there is no deficit we can’t overcome.”
Lilly is 3-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 career appearances, including eight starts, against the Orioles.