Hill’s tenth-inning sacrifice fly scores winning run as Blue Jays beat Orioles 3-2

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TORONTO (AP)—John McDonald’s strong defense gave Toronto some momentum, and Aaron Hill took care of the rest.

McDonald threw out J.R. House after House made too big of a turn around first base on a 10th-inning single and Hill hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half to lift the Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Sunday.

Baltimore’s Brian Roberts drew a one-out walk in the 10th and went to third on House’s pinch-hit single. McDonald took the relay from right fielder Alex Rios and fired it to Lyle Overbay at first, who tagged House for the second out. Nick Markakis then grounded out to end the inning.

McDonald said the Blue Jays work on the play once a week.

“We’re always looking around to try and find an extra out,” McDonald said. “Today things came together at the right time.”

House, who hit his first major league home run in Baltimore’s 5-3 win Saturday, was brought swiftly back to earth.

“It was just a bad baserunning mistake on my part,” he said. “It was good to get the hit but it’s all for naught if you get picked off like that.”

Baltimore leads the American League with 24 one-run defeats.

“We had the table set for the No. 3 guy behind him and we ran ourselves out of the inning,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

McDonald also robbed Ramon Hernandez of a hit in the third, making a diving stop and throwing to first from his knees.

“The big difference was our defense,” Vernon Wells said. “What Johnny Mac is able to do at shortstop is unbelievable.”

Wells led off the bottom half of the 10th with an infield single off Chad Bradford (2-6) and advanced to second on Frank Thomas’ groundout. Troy Glaus singled before Hill lofted a fly ball to left to drive in Wells with the winning run.

“Momentum at that time of the game is what you want,” McDonald said. “We carried it into the 10th.”

Scott Downs (2-2) pitched one inning for the win.

Roy Halladay allowed two runs and six hits in nine innings for the Blue Jays. He struck out five and walked three over 125 pitches.

Baltimore took a 2-0 lead against Halladay in the third. Jay Payton hit a leadoff double and scored on Roberts’ single. Roberts went to third on Tike Redman’s double and scored on Kevin Millar’s fielder’s choice.

Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie retired the first 11 batters he faced before Rios singled and scored on a double by Wells in the fourth.

Glaus led off the fifth with his 16th homer of the season, tying it at 2. It was his first homer since July 22, a span of 75 at-bats.

“It wasn’t where I wanted it and he was able to hit it out of the ballpark,” Guthrie said. “I need to put it down a little bit lower, maybe get it in the dirt and have him chase it.”

Guthrie retired the last 12 batters he faced before Jaime Walker took over in the ninth. He gave up three hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked none. He is 0-1 with three no-decisions in his last four starts.

“He locates real well down and away and doesn’t really give you anything to hit,” Overbay said of Guthrie. “He’s sneaky. He’s lays it out there and you see it good but it kind of jumps on you a little bit. It takes you a few at-bats to figure that out.”

Halladay retired 13 straight between the third and the seventh but was unable to win his fourth straight start. He has lost just once in his past seven outings and said simplifying his approach has made the difference.

“Early on there were times when I’d get men on base and just press a little too much, try to make too many corrections on the mound,” Halladay said. “I’ve tried to focus more on execution of pitches and worry about those corrections you need to make in the bullpen and the days in between.”

Millar drew a four-pitch walk in the ninth and has reached base safely in his last 46 games. Ken Singleton set the Orioles’ team record in 1977, reaching safely in 49 straight.

Notes

Leading off for the sixth time this season, Toronto outfielder Matt Stairs saw 13 pitches before flying out in the first. … Fourteen of Guthrie’s 24 outs came on fly balls.

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