BALTIMORE - The streak will go down as tied for the second longest in baseball history, an impressive run that began a year ago and helped propel the Baltimore Orioles into the postseason.
The Orioles had strung together 17 consecutive extra-inning regular season wins until Wednesday's game against Toronto. That's when the streak ended as the Blue Jays, who lost an early lead, came back to beat Baltimore 6-5 in 11 innings in front of 14,981 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles (12-9) finished their nine-game homestand with a 6-3 record, and won all three series, but the finale was somewhat tough to take. They trailed 5-2 in the seventh inning, after spot starter Josh Stinson gave up four home runs in 5 2-3 innings, only to score three runs in the inning and tie the game.
The potential winning run was thrown out at the plate in the 10th, then Baltimore closer Jim Johnson walked in the go-ahead run in the 11th and Toronto (9-13) held on.
An extra-inning win would have moved Baltimore past the 1949 Cleveland Indians for sole possession of the second-best mark. The Pittsburgh Pirates own the longest stretch of extra-inning wins, with 21 in a row (1959-60).
"It's not something I dwell on. I know our guys don't," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But I understand how it's noteworthy."
Showalter and his players reflected on winning six of nine at home as the club headed west for a 10-day road trip to Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles.
"We don't think about this," said third baseman Manny Machado, whose RBI triple in the seventh tied the game at 5-5. "We'll forget about it. Yeah, we lost. It sucks, but [we'll] move on from it."
Machado led off the 10th with a single and moved to second on an error by Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who botched a catch on Adam Jones' high fly ball with one out. Two batters later, J.J. Hardy singled to left and Machado headed home, but Toronto's Rajai Davis fired to the plate and catcher J.P. Arencibia tagged out Machado to end the inning.
Johnson came in for one out in the 10th and got the first two Blue Jays batters in the 11th before losing his command. Arencibia and Munenori Kawasaki each singled and Johnson plunked Brett Lawrie to load the bases. He followed that by walking Maicier Izturis, Toronto's No. 9 hitter who came in batting .164, on four pitches.
Baltimore's bullpen threw 9 2-3 scoreless innings in the three-game set before Johnson's walk.
"I just had a hard time throwing a strike," said Johnson, who fell to 1-2 with the loss. "Kind of lost feel, and obviously that's a terrible way to lose a game."
It looked like Stinson was bound for the loss in the early innings. His four homers were the most allowed by an Orioles pitcher making his team debut in franchise history. Arencibia, Davis, Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion all went deep against Stinson, but three of those were solo shots.
Stinson had allowed two home runs in 22 1-3 major-league innings before Wednesday's outing.
The Orioles scored in the first inning when Jones went to the opposite field and laced a double to right that scored McLouth and put the Orioles up 1-0.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow then held the Orioles hitless until the seventh, when Baltimore chased the right-hander and tied the game.
The fans at Camden Yards had to like their team's chances once extra innings rolled around, but the win streak came to an end. Still, the Orioles were happy to leave town with some momentum.
"We're never going to stop fighting," Machado said. "It's something that, ever since I came up and before, something that we've had, that the team's had. You never give up until that last out is made and the game's over."
NOTES: The Orioles optioned Stinson to Class AAA Norfolk after Wednesday's game. A corresponding roster move is expected to be made Thursday. ... Showalter said Dylan Bundy is scheduled to meet with team physician Dr. John Wilckens on Thursday before setting up an appointment with Dr. James Andrews next Monday. Bundy is experiencing pain in his right elbow and forearm and was recently on the minor-league disabled list.