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Burnett, Thomas help Jays defeat Orioles in series opener

Aug 18, 2007 - 3:59 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- A.J. Burnett pitched into the seventh inning and Frank Thomas hit his 506th career home run as the Toronto Blue Jays posted a 5-2 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

The win helped Toronto (62-59) pull within 5 1/2 games of the Seattle Mariners in the American League wild card chase. The Mariners (66-52) host the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

Burnett (7-6) allowed just two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings to record consecutive wins for the first time since taking three straight from May 11-22. He struck out six and walked three.

"The wind was really pushing my (curveball) down, so I went with the changeup instead," Burnett said. "We got the big home run from (Thomas), and everybody else was hitting so it was a good game."

Burnett continues to manhandle the Orioles. The 30-year-old righthander improved to 4-0 in five outings against Baltimore.

"He was really good again tonight," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "That's his second good one from bouncing back and then the bullpen was very good."

Relievers Scott Downs and Casey Janssen bridged the gap to closer Jeremy Accardo, who shut the door in the ninth for his 24th save for Toronto, which has won four of its last six.

Baltimore rookie Garrett Olson was nursing a 1-0 lead in the third inning until Toronto's offense broke through in a huge way.

Reed Johnson, who led off with a double, scored on a passed ball with the bases loaded. Vernon Wells hit the go-ahead RBI single before Thomas capped the five-run uprising with a three-run blast for his 19th of the season for a 5-1 edge.

"On 3-2, I was really just trying to drive a ball to the outfield," said Thomas, who is now five homers shy of Mel Ott for 19th all-time. "(Olson) threw me a fastball, I got out front and recognized the pitch and stayed on top of it."

Toronto had a chance to apply more damage after Olson (1-2) walked Johnson on four straight pitches to load the bags for the second time in the frame. But O's reliever Rob Bell got Lyle Overbay to fly out to center to end the inning.

"We had one good inning there," Overbay said. "We stranded a lot of runners, but you have to give credit to their pitchers; they made some key pitches to get us out in those situations." Olson lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs and six hits. Making his fourth career start, the 23-year-old walked four and fanned one.

"I needed to make some pitches there and I just didn't," Olson said. "In that third inning a couple guys got on base and it just snowballed from there."

"He just didn't have good command and he didn't locate," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said. "He's pitching behind. You pitch behind, and this is a veteran team in the middle of that lineup, you're going to get hurt."

Baltimore's Ramon Hernandez opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third and Brian Roberts belted his 10th homer two innings later.

Hernandez was involved in a wacky play in the fifth. With John McDonald tying to steal second, Hernandez took a pitch out from Bell but appeared to stumble and doubled-clutch the throw to second which ended up hitting Bell in the rear end.

"That hit me like a mid-town Manhattan ATM surcharge," Bell said. "That stung quite a bit. When I threw the pitch I ducked, but I didn't expect to get drilled right there."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
    TORONTO 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 x 5 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BAL - GARRETT OLSON, ROB BELL (3RD), PAUL SHUEY (7TH) AND RAMON
    HERNANDEZ
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT, SCOTT DOWNS (7TH), CASEY JANSSEN
    (8TH), JEREMY ACCARDO (9TH) AND CURT

    Aug 17 10:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRIAN ROBERTS (10) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF A.J. BURNETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: C PATTERSON (.268, 0-FOR-2)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysAug 17 8:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (19) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF GARRETT OLSON SCORED ALEX RIOS AND VERNON WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: T GLAUS (.257, 1-FOR-1)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysAug 17 8:09 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED LYLE OVERBAY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON FIRST, A RIOS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.262, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysAug 17 8:06 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY RAMON HERNANDEZ ALLOWED REED JOHNSON TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON FIRST, L OVERBAY ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysAug 17 8:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAMON HERNANDEZ SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R HERNANDEZ ON FIRST, M MORA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TORONTO 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: J PAYTON (.258, 4 HR, 43 RBI)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysAug 17 7:37 PM