How do you follow up a game in which you set a season-high with 12 runs and eight extra-base hits to go along with four home runs?
If you are the Orioles, you get shut out for the fourth time this season and the third over their last 14 games in a 3-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricky Romero was masterful in allowing just four hits over 8 1/3 shutout innings, and Jon Rauch came on in the ninth and retired the potential tying runs in the form of Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds.
"Yeah, it's frustrating, but that's baseball," said Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, trying to explain how a team looks so dangerous offensively one night, and so overmatched the next. "The guy pitched his butt off on the mound. We could have had him early, but we let him off the hook. When you do that against good pitchers and they get in a groove, it's tough to battle back the rest of the game."
The Orioles best chance came in the second when they men on first and second with no outs. However, Romero got Reynolds to hit into a double play on a 3-2 pitch. With Derrek Lee on third and two outs, Romero's ball-four pitch to Felix Pie got past catcher J.P. Arencibia. However, Lee got a bad read on the ball and couldn't score.
"It was a tough read down there, one you'd like to see him make," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
They figured to get more chances but Blake Davis' inning-ending flyout with two men on in the second started a stretch where Romero retired 12 of 14 batters.
"He was pretty good," said Davis who was a former roommate and teammate of Romero's at Cal-State Fullerton. "He's coming at you with all his pitches and he battles. That's what he does. He works hard. That's why they're paying him what they're paying him."
Romero is 5-1 in his last seven starts against the Orioles. In two starts against them at the Rogers Centre this season, Romero has allowed just one earned run, seven hits and seven walks while striking out 21 over 16 1/3 innings.
"He doesn't throw anything straight," Markakis said. "The ball cuts, it sinks. He puts it where he wants it. When you're doing that, you don't really need much off speed. Even when it seemed to be over the plate, it was either cutting or sinking. Off a guy like that who is throwing 90 to 94, it makes it tough."
Alfredo Simon pitched five uneven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. He, along with relievers Chris Jakubauskas, Troy Patton and Kevin Gregg, did keep the defcit manageable, but the Orioles were never able to score. During Simon's past four starts, the Orioles have totaled just three runs.
"That's part of the game," Simon said. "I don't get support and the hitters don't score runs. That's part of the game. I just have to keep it like that."