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Orioles topple Blue Jays 5-4 in road opener

The Orioles rallied for two runs in the eighth inning for their second straight comeback victory -- a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

With the score tied at 3, Trayvon Robinson and Jason Pridie led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to take the lead.

Robinson came just a few feet shy of hitting his second homer of the spring – his two-run homer in the Orioles opener Saturday gave them a 5-3 win over the Twins – hitting a ball off the high left-field wall. Pridie’s hit then got caught in the right field wall down the line. Later in the inning, Yamaico Navarro’s single gave the Orioles a two-run cushion.

Orioles starter Jair Jurrjens retired the first five batters he faced, but then allowed a single to J.P Arencibia and issued a walk to Colby Rasmus before Mark DeRosa plated a run with an RBI single.

"I felt good,” Jurrjens said. “My timing's coming back. I still need to work on the slider. The timing's a little bit off on that. But I felt really good. The ball's coming out like I want it to. I'm keeping the ball down. That's the main thing."

Steve Pearce drove in three runs, including a pair on a two-run homer that put the Orioles up 2-0 in the second inning off Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle.

Trailing 2-1, Jays slugger Jose Bautista took Orioles left-hander Troy Patton deep to left-center field to give Toronto a 3-2 third-inning lead.

Pearce tied the game with a two-out single in the sixth.

Nolan Reimold, playing in his first game in 10 months since season-ending neck surgery, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Left-handed reliever Mike Belfiore retired all six hitters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings to earn the win.

Pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2012, made his Grapefruit League debut, throwing 1 2/3 innings before coming out with two outs in the ninth for a pitch count.

Gausman, whose fastball sat at 96-97 and topped at 98, allowed a run after his former college teammate Ryan Schimpf hit an RBI double. It was the only hit Gausman, who struck out two and walked two, allowed.

"It was good," Gausman said. "I felt good. I was a little amped up there at the start. Obviously, I should be. It was kind of a big highlight in my life, so it was kind of a big highlight in my life, so it was kind of cool. I pitched against Schimpf and he went to LSU. He's the guy who got the double off me."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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