Rios, Thomas rally Jays to 10-inning win vs. O's

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 4 (10 innings)

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Frank Thomas started Toronto's comeback with a milestone home run, and after the game turned into a duel between the bullpens, the outcome was almost inevitable.

Alex Rios scored the tying run in the eighth inning and homered off struggling Danys Baez in the 10th to carry the Blue Jays past the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Thursday night.

Toronto trailed 4-2 in the seventh before Thomas hit his 493rd career home run, tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 21st on the career list. The solo shot left him two homers short of matching Edgar Martinez for most by a designated hitter (243).

After that, the Blue Jays went to work against Baltimore's overworked bullpen. Toronto pulled even in the eighth against two Orioles relievers and then won it in the 10th against Baez (0-4), whose ineffectiveness this month cost him his role as the setup man. The right-hander came in with a 6.10 ERA and had yielded runs in four of his past five appearances.

Baez got one out before Rios hit a drive deep into the left-field seats. As Rios rounded the bases, the fans at Camden Yards showered Baez with a chorus of jeers.

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo had already gone through four relievers before turning to Baez, simply because he had few other options.

"[Chad] Bradford was unavailable, and we were in trouble for innings at the point," Perlozzo said.

Enter Baez, who also gave up a double to Lyle Overbay before finally retiring the side.

"Hopefully, it's not a devastating thing for him," Perlozzo said. "We're obviously going to have to pick and choose a little later in the game now until we get him on track."

The Blue Jays, in contrast, got fine performances from relievers Casey Janssen (2-0) and Jeremy Accardo. Janssen pitched two scoreless innings, his 14th straight appearance without allowing an earned run, and Accardo got three outs to earn his fifth save and maintain his spotless ERA (over 21 innings).

"They have been solid all year. We lost a couple guys early in the year and didn't know what to expect," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "They have established themselves in certain roles and they have all been outstanding."

Matt Stairs homered for the Blue Jays, who took two of three to win only their second road series of at least three games. The other was in Tampa Bay on April 6-8.

Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who wasted a fine performance by starter Jeremy Guthrie.

Making his fourth start since leaving the bullpen, Guthrie allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He left with a 4-3 lead but lamented the homer by Thomas.

"I put up a zero in the seventh," he said, "and the whole game turns out different for us."

Toronto starter Shaun Marcum allowed four runs and six hits over seven innings in his third start since joining the rotation from the bullpen.

"The key is keeping the team in the game and getting it to the bullpen," Marcum said.


Baltimore trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Corey Patterson hit a leadoff double, Markakis drew a two-out walk and Tejada homered on an 0-1 pitch. The drive landed just inside the left-field foul pole and only a few feet beyond the wall, but it was good enough to snap his run of 100 at-bats without a home run.

It was his third home run of the season and first since April 25. In 10 career at-bats against Marcum, Tejada is 6-for-10 with three homers and seven RBIs.

Thomas' sixth homer got the Blue Jays within a run, and Toronto tied it in the eighth. After Rios beat out an infield hit and took third on a double by Overbay, Scott Williamson replaced John Parrish and retired Vernon Wells on a liner to third before Troy Glaus hit a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom half, Melvin Mora was easily thrown out at home by Stairs while trying to score from first on a two-out double to left by Markakis.

The teams turned seven double plays in the first five innings, including four by the Orioles. Mora grounded into a double play in the first and third innings, giving him a team-high 12 GIDPs this season.

Markakis homered to put the Orioles up 1-0 in the first inning. Toronto got two runs in the second when Stairs hit a solo shot, Aaron Hill doubled and scored on a single by Jason Phillips.

Game notes
Baltimore's Brian Roberts reached base in seven straight plate appearances (four hits, three walks) before flying out in the sixth inning. ... Thomas has 14 career homers at Camden Yards.