Blue Jays hand Orioles fifth straight loss

TORONTO (AP) -- Baltimore closer George Sherrill's spectacular first half is coming to an end on a sour note.

Adam Lind drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Orioles 6-5 on Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Leading 5-4 in the ninth, Baltimore handed the ball to Sherrill (2-4), who struck out pinch-hitter Marco Scutaro but gave up a single to Rod Barajas and a double to Scott Rolen. Pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun was walked intentionally to load the bases for Lyle Overbay, who tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

Lind followed with a single to right, bringing home Rolen with the decisive run that gave Sherrill his sixth blown save and third in five appearances.

"They jumped on first pitches a lot," Sherrill said. "I was just trying to get ahead and they got some pretty good pitches to hit."

Blue Jays right-hander Shawn Camp (2-1) worked one inning for the victory.

Lind went 1-for-19 in brief callup earlier this season, but finished 3-for-4 Thursday and is hitting .320 (16-for-50) since returning to the majors June 21.

"He's just getting better all the time," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "He's hit everywhere he's played and he's starting to do that up here, too."

The winning rally came one inning after Toronto scored twice in the eighth against Orioles setup man Jim Johnson.

"We had it set up with the right guys in the right spots and it didn't happen for us," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said.

The Orioles lost their fifth straight, matching a season high.

Sherrill said a lack of regular work in recent weeks has made it hard for him to feel comfortable when he comes into games.

"It gets tough to find a rhythm," Sherrill said. "I guess I'll have to do a little bit more work when I have a few days off in between."

The late collapse spoiled seven strong innings from Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who allowed two runs and four hits.

"He pitched out of some tough spots late in the game, made some big pitches," Trembley said. "Obviously we would have liked to have gotten him a win."

Baltimore opened the scoring in the first when Nick Markakis doubled, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games, and scored on a two-out single by Aubrey Huff.

The Orioles made it 3-0 in the second. Melvin Mora and Jay Payton began the inning with consecutive doubles and Payton went to third on a fly ball before scoring on Brandon Fahey's grounder.

The Blue Jays got one back in the fourth when Joe Inglett singled, moved to second on a grounder, went to third on a passed ball and scored when Alex Rios grounded out.

Toronto cut it to 3-2 in the sixth when Lind doubled and came around on grounders by Inglett and David Eckstein.

The Orioles added two more in the eighth against relievers Brian Tallet and Brandon League, loading the bases on a single by Brian Roberts, an intentional walk to Huff and a walk to Ramon Hernandez before Mora lined a two-run single to right.

Toronto replied with RBI grounders by Inglett and Eckstein against Johnson in the bottom half, setting up the ninth-inning rally.

"I gave them back the momentum and you can't do that in a close game, especially on the road," Johnson said.

Pitching for the first time since June 28, and making only his second appearance of the season, Toronto left-hander John Parrish overcame early struggles to work seven innings. He allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out three.

The Orioles had two runners thrown out on the bases in the fifth. Roberts drew a one-out walk and was caught trying to steal second. Markakis followed with a walk but was picked off first by Parrish to end the inning.

Rolen made the defensive play of the game in the first, diving into foul territory to snag a smash by Kevin Millar, then throwing to first from his knees.

Millar was victimized again in the eighth when right fielder Brad Wilkerson raced into foul territory to make a sliding, backhanded catch.

Game notes
All three games in the series were decided by one run. ... Before the game, Toronto placed outfielder Vernon Wells (strained hamstring) on the 15-day DL. Wells, who was injured on a steal of third Wednesday, is expected to miss four to six weeks. Outfielder Kevin Mench has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and will join the team Friday. ... An MRI on the shoulder of Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan revealed no further damage to a tear in his rotator cuff. McGowan is expected to miss at least four weeks.