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Romero stifles Orioles

Jul 28, 2011 - 5:25 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Ricky Romero was dominant Wednesday, going 8 1/3 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-0 shutout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Romero (8-9) gave up four hits while fanning nine and walking three to earn his first win in five starts. Jon Rauch recorded the final two outs in the ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season.

"On a night when we needed Ricky to go deep, he certainly did that," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He got into a much better rhythm from the third inning on, a much more consistent feel to his curveball and his cutter. He just did an outstanding job tonight."

J.P Arencibia blasted a solo homer, while Eric Thames and Yunel Escobar each finished with a pair of hits for the Blue Jays, who have won 10 of their last 15 games.

Alfredo Simon (2-4) threw 103 pitches in just five innings to absorb the loss. He fanned a career-high seven hitters and walked two in the middle tilt of this three-game series.

Adam Jones picked up two hits for Baltimore, which was unable to build on a 12-4 thrashing of the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Toronto grabbed the lead in it first at-bat at cruised from there. Escobar led off the inning with a sharp single to right, advanced to second on a groundout by Thames and scored on a base-hit to left by Jose Bautista. Adam Lind followed with a single to give the Jays runners on first and second and an opportunity to widen the lead. Simon settled down however, fanning Edwin Encarnacion and Travis Snider to limit the damage.

Baltimore threatened in the second. Derrek Lee led off the inning with a walk and Matt Wieters followed with a single to left to give the O's men on first and second. Romero was bailed out of trouble though, as he got Mark Reynolds to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, and Blake Davis to fly out to center to end the inning.

"He's tough," Davis said of Romero, his former college roommate at Cal State Fullerton. "He throws pitches for strikes and that breaking ball looks like a strike, makes you chase it."

Rajai Davis manufactured a run in the bottom of the second to give the Jays a 2-0 advantage. He singled with one out, stole second and third then scored on a single by Thames.

The Blue Jays extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Arencibia blasted a solo home run with two down for his 16th bomb of the 2011 campaign.

Toronto loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against Orioles' reliever Chris Jakubauskas. who fanned Thames and Bautista to keep the Orioles in the game.

Baltimore had a chance to tie the game in the ninth when Vladimir Guerrero struck out, but reached base on a dropped third strike. Lee was then hit by a Romero pitch, allowing the tying run to step to the plate with one out. Rauch entered and calmly got Wieters to line out and Reynolds to fly out to end the game.

Game Notes

Baltimore is 15-31 on the road in 2011...Jones in one home run shy of tying his career high...The Orioles are 9-21 against left-handed starters...Toronto leads the season series with Baltimore by a 5-3 count...The Blue Jays are 17-23 against their own division, while Baltimore is 12-25 in intra-division competition...Bautista was in the lineup Wednesday after getting hit in the head in Tuesday's game by Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta...Bautista, who leads the majors in home runs with 31, has gone homerless in nine consecutive games...Baltimore is 6-16 in July, while Toronto is 12-10....Earlier on Wednesday, the Blue Jays shipped pitcher Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder Mark Teahen, Toronto then dealt Jackson to the St.Louis Cardinals for outfielder Colby Rasmus.