Gregg Zaun snapped a tie with a two-run single in the 12th inning, and the Blue Jays received a strong performance from their bullpen in a 6-2 victory Monday night.
Zaun was locked in an 0-for-14 slump before delivering the key hit, a single up the middle that sent Baltimore to its first defeat since April 21. His skid included an 0-for-7 performance during a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.
“I’ve been a little frustrated,” Zaun said. “That was my first hit on the trip. I haven’t been feeling real comfortable. But when I picked up the bat, it felt good in my hands. I felt like I had an opportunity to do something.”
The Blue Jays, who held Baltimore without a hit over the final six innings, have won six of seven. They had lost six straight to the Orioles, including three in Toronto from April 22-24 that got Baltimore started on its eight-game run.
Although the Orioles came in with the second-best record in the majors, the smallest crowd in the 14-year history of Camden Yards (15,641) showed up on a chilly night.
Vernon Wells led off the 12th with a single off Todd Williams (3-1), who had allowed only one earned run in 12 innings. Wells went to third on a single by Corey Koskie before Shea Hillenbrand hit a grounder to shortstop, producing a rundown that retired Wells and left runners at second and third.
Williams then issued an intentional walk to Eric Hinske before Zaun broke a tie that had endured since the sixth inning.
After scoring 62 runs during its eight-game streak, Baltimore managed little offense against the Blue Jays.
“Does it surprise me? Yeah, with this club,” manager Lee Mazzilli said. “We had a couple of situations where the base hit we’ve done all year would have won the game for us. We just didn’t get it. That happens.”
Toronto rookie Gustavo Chacin allowed two runs, seven hits and five walks in 7 1-3 innings. After the left-hander walked two batters in the eighth, Jason Frasor got Javy Lopez to hit into an inning-ending double play.
“We just couldn’t score tonight,” Mazzilli said.
Baltimore’s lone runs came in the sixth. After Chacin retired the first two batters, Sosa grounded a double to left and scored on a double by Lopez before Jay Gibbons blooped an opposite-field RBI single to left to make it 2-all.
Toronto then blew a chance to take the lead in the seventh. Frank Catalanotto hit a leadoff double and went to third on a fly ball before Mazzilli replaced starter Rodrigo Lopez with Steve Kline, who struck out Koskie, issued an intentional walk to AL batting leader Hillenbrand and struck out Hinske.
Rodrigo Lopez allowed two runs, one earned, and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
The Blue Jays went up 2-0 in the first inning. After Koskie hit an RBI single and Catalanotto scored on a throwing error by first baseman Gibbons, Rodrigo Lopez struck out Frank Menechino with the bases loaded.
The lead didn’t last.
“Those guys are playing great ball. They’ve got a great team,” Zaun said. “With that offense, you never know. You never ever can hold your breath or count your chickens with that offense.”
Johnson went 2-for-4 against Rodrigo Lopez and is 8-for-18 (.444) lifetime against him. … The Orioles have allowed more runs in the first (17) than any other inning. … It was the first extra-inning game for both teams.