J.R. House homers to help Trachsel finally win again, Orioles beat Blue Jays 5-3
TORONTO (AP)—Steve Trachsel got off to a rough start. Once he started keeping the ball down, he was well on his way to his first win in more than two months.
The right-hander struggled early, giving up three runs and five hits in the first two innings. The Blue Jays had runners on first and second in the second but Trachsel got Reed Johnson to ground into an inning-ending double play.
“He wasn’t sharp early,” catcher Paul Bako said. “He was kind of up with everything. He wasn’t finishing his pitches. He made a nice adjustment and worked down. When you do that, good things happen.”
Trachsel (6-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He retired 15 of 17 batters during one stretch and won for the first time since June 8.
“All my stuff is better when it’s down,” Trachsel said. “There’s more life on my split and my curveball. When those pitches are up, they’re real easy to hit. Nobody can live up there, especially not me.”
Trachsel is 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA in seven career starts against Toronto.
Right-hander Jim Hoey relieved Trachsel after a pair of two-out singles in the seventh and got pinch-hitter Vernon Wells to ground into a fielder’s choice. Trachsel, who had a walk and a strikeout, was 0-3 with six no-decisions since his previous win.
Hoey pitched around a double in the eighth and Danys Baez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
“It’s good for our club and it’s good for Baez,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He’s got experience. He’s the guy we’re going to go to in that situation. As everybody noticed, I didn’t have anybody else up in the pen. I wanted to let Baez know it was his game.”
Orioles closer Chris Ray underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Thursday and is not expected to pitch in 2008.
Starting for the first time since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, House homered in the sixth, a solo drive into the second deck in left. He got the ball back and also was presented with the lineup card.
“I didn’t see where it landed but I got to enjoy the moment because I knew once I hit it that it was going to go,” House said. “I don’t hit very many of them like that, either. Mine are usually wall-scrapers so it was nice to get one like that.”
House, who finished 2-for-4, got his first major league hit since July 24, 2004.
“I’ve pulled for him for a long time,” Trembley said. “For him to get a chance to come up and hit his first home run in the big leagues, help us win, is great for him and it’s great for us.”
The Blue Jays played poor defense behind right-hander Jesse Litsch for the second straight start. They made two errors, leading to three unearned runs.
“That was a game we could have won,” manager John Gibbons said.
Toronto made three errors and allowed three unearned runs in Litsch’s loss to Kansas City on Monday.
Litsch (4-6) allowed two earned runs and six hits in six innings against Baltimore. He walked one and struck out four.
A throwing error by second baseman Aaron Hill led to three Orioles runs in the second. Aubrey Huff led off with a double and broke for third on Melvin Mora’s grounder. Hill’s throw to third hit Huff in the back, putting runners on the corners. Two outs later, Tike Redman hit a two-run triple, then scored on a double by Brian Roberts.
“It was a good throw,” Hill said. “It happened to hit him in the back. What are you going to do? If the same thing happens tomorrow, I’ll do the same thing.”
Baltimore pushed across a run in the fourth when first baseman Lyle Overbay booted Redman’s grounder.
The Orioles won for the first time in six games at Rogers Centre. … Toronto has made 79 errors this season, fourth-highest in the American League. … The Blue Jays have hit at least one double in each of their past 25 games, the longest active streak in the AL.