SARASOTA, FLA. – Francisco Peguero hit a three-run triple with two outs in the eighth inning to cap a seven-run frame and give the Orioles a 9-7 comeback win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their Grapefruit League home opener in front of an announced 6,901 at Ed Smith Stadium.
The Orioles entered the inning trailing by five runs.
The Orioles eighth-inning rally started on Jonathan Schoop’s bases-loaded, one-out RBI single. Xavier Paul followed with a two-run single and the Orioles cut the lead to 7-6 after Julio Borbon hit into a fielder’s choice play.
The inning was kept alive by a fielding error by Toronto second baseman Chris Getz on Cord Phelps’ grounder to second, loading the bases for Peguero, who laced a pitch from Marcus Walden into the left-center field gap to clear the bases.
Toronto rallied for five runs in the sixth inning, capped by a three-run homer by former Oriole Dan Johnson off right-hander Edgmer Escalona with two outs. Escalona was charged with five runs – all earned -- on four hits.
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run on three hits over two innings. In the second inning, Gonzalez allowed a two-out triple to Getz, who scored on an RBI single to Jared Goedert.
“Just one batter, fell behind,” Gonzalez said about the Getz at bat. “That was it. That was the only problem. Just tried to work on my fastball today. It was pretty good for the most part.”
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on Chris Davis’ two-out, two-run double into the center field gap. The hit allowed David Lough and Nelson Cruz to score.
Steve Johnson retired all six batters he faced, throwing perfect third and fourth innings and striking out Toronto sluggers Jose Bautista and Adam Lind.
After the Orioles regained the lead, right-hander Evan Meek pitched a perfect ninth for the save.