Blue Jays 7, Orioles 4

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Faced with the prospect of losing another series and falling three games under .500 for the first time this season, the Toronto Blue Jays mounted a comeback that produced a feel-good victory.

Frank Catalanotto singled in the tiebreaking run in a four-run seventh inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 Wednesday night for their first series win since mid-August.

Gregg Zaun homered for the Blue Jays, who won two of three from the sinking Orioles. Toronto had not won a series since beating the Los Angeles Angels twice in three games Aug. 15-17.

“It’s been our goal all season to win every series, so this is a big deal,” Zaun said. “There is a lot of pride in this locker room and we played too well, too long, to just fold the tents at the end and finish the year under .500. We were in it for a long time and we want to finish strong.”

Javy Lopez had two hits, drove in a run and scored one for the Orioles, who blew two leads in losing for the 14th time in 19 games. It was the 16th time in 26 games that Baltimore scored four runs or fewer.

“We’ve got to swing the bats better than we have,” interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. “We say that every night, but we’ve got to shore it up all the way around.”

Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada played in his 895th consecutive game, tying Stan Musial for the seventh-longest streak in major league history.

Toronto trailed 4-3 before batting around in the seventh. Reed Johnson and Orlando Hudson hit one-out singles off Jorge Julio (3-5) before Russ Adams tied it with a run-scoring single off Chris Ray. Catalanotto then singled in Hudson, who sprained his left ankle sliding home.

A sacrifice fly by Corey Koskie and an RBI single by Shea Hillenbrand completed the scoring.

“We had one good inning tonight,” Toronto manager John Gibbons conceded.

Pete Walker (6-4) pitched 1 2-3 innings of one-hit relief for Toronto, and Miguel Batista worked the ninth for his 26th save.

Walker, Jason Frasor and Batista combined to allow two hits over the final 4 2-3 innings.

“Our bullpen’s good. When we’re rested, they’re real good,” Gibbons said.

Down 3-2, the Orioles took the lead and chased Toronto starter Scott Downs during a fifth-inning rally fueled by a fluke triple. With one out, Johnson slipped on the warning track while camping under Tejada’s fly to right, and the ball fell beyond his grasp. Jay Gibbons followed with an RBI single and scored on a double by Lopez.

Catalanotto prevented further damage by making a fine running catch of a deep drive to left by Chris Gomez with two on and two outs.

“I never thought he’d make that catch,” Perlozzo said. “I was actually adding up two more runs on the board for us.”

Downs gave up four runs, seven hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out six.

Toronto got a run off John Maine in the first inning when Adams led off with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Koskie. In the bottom half, Brian Roberts hit a leadoff triple before Downs struck out the next three batters.

The Orioles went up 2-1 in the fourth. After Lopez drew a one-out walk and scored on a double by Alejandro Freire, Gomez grounded a single deep in the hole at shortstop. Adams gloved the ball and threw wildly to third, allowing Freire to score.

Zaun hit his ninth homer to start the fifth, his first home run since connecting in Baltimore on Aug. 12. Johnson followed with a double and came home on a single by Hudson to put Toronto up 3-2.


Toronto won the season series 10-9. … Baltimore fell to 14-18 under Perlozzo. … Orioles RF Sammy Sosa was sent home to Florida to continue the rehabilitation of his right big toe. He is expected to return before the end of the season.

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