After Toronto starting pitchers posted two long outings in the two games before Saturday night's matchup with the Orioles -- and with right-hander Todd Redmond making his second start of the season -- manager Buck Showalter knew the Blue Jays would go to their bullpen early and often.
It proved to be the right formula for success, too, as the Toronto bullpen allowed three hits and three walks while striking out seven in five shutout innings in the Blue Jays' 7-3 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Redmond exited after allowing three runs and four hits, including two home runs, and striking out six Orioles in four innings. From there, the Blue Jays alternated left-handed and right-handed pitchers to keep the heavy-hitting Orioles lineup off balance.
Left-hander Aaron Loup pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings before giving way to right-hander Dustin McGowan, who allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons used All-Star relievers Brett Cecil, a left-hander, and Steve Delabar, a right-hander, for the next 1 2/3 innings. They combined to allow two hits and two walks while striking out three. Cecil got Orioles first baseman Chris Davis to strike out looking on a breaking ball on the inside corner with two on and one out in the seventh.
Right-hander Casey Janssen got the final two outs of the ninth for his 18th save.
It was another solid performance from one of the top bullpens in baseball. After the game. Loup, McGowan, Cecil and Delabar all had ERAs at or below 1.94, while Janssen’s ERA is 2.76.
“You get Cecil and Delabar in there, you know they’ve had amazing first halves,” center fielder Adam Jones said. “So they’re just doing what they’ve been doing all year. Our bullpen’s good, too. They had the lead, they brought in that shut-down bullpen, and they shut us down.”
In 92 games entering Saturday, Blue Jays starters had an ERA of 4.99 -- second-worst in the majors -- while their relievers posted the fourth-best ERA in baseball in that span with a 2.97 mark.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun