Done in by David Price, Orioles' brief winning streak halted with 5-1 loss to Jays

TORONTO — The Orioles have seen their share of David Price over the years.

In fact, last year, they beat the 2012 Cy Young Award winner to punch their ticket to the American League Championship Series, triumphing over his Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the AL Division Series.


On Saturday, Price — now wearing a Toronto Blue Jays uniform — put a dent in the Orioles' hopes of returning to the playoffs, holding them to one run on three hits over seven innings and sending them to a 5-1 defeat in front of an announced sellout crowd of 46,373 at an energized Rogers Centre.

The division-leading Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Price before last month's nonwaiver trade deadline to be the front-line starter they needed to get to the postseason for the first time in 22 years. And on Saturday, Price improved to 5-1 since coming to Toronto, silencing the Orioles bats.


"He's good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "This time of year with everybody kind of beat up, if you have a pitcher with good stuff, it kind of plays even more this time of year. David has been doing that for a long time. We shouldn't feel like he's picking on us."

An Orioles team that rallied for 13 hits and bashed four homers in Friday night's 10-2 series-opening win managed just four hits Saturday. Junior Lake's double in the third inning was the Orioles' only extra-base hit.

Price (14-5) threw the Orioles' fastball-feasting lineup off balance.

"We're kind of used to the fastball, slider, changeup combo, and he was throwing quite a few guys hard cutters down and in," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "They looked like fastballs coming in there, so they were kind of hard to lay off sometimes. He pitched a good game and we've got to reset and come back tomorrow for a win."

The loss dropped the Orioles (65-70) six games back of the second AL wild card held by the Texas Rangers — the Rangers played late Saturday — with just 27 games to play in the regular season. The Orioles couldn't build on back-to-back wins, a rare bright spot after the club went through a 1-12 skid that dimmed its playoff hopes.

"Yesterday's game was just as important as today's and today's is just as important as tomorrow's," Joseph said. "But we need wins — wins, period. So, if it's a 1-0 win or a 12-10 win, we'll take it. We've got to just reset and try to get wins each and every time out."

Orioles rookie right-hander Mike Wright (2-4), making his first start off the disabled list and working on three days rest, allowed three runs on seven hits over four innings and was pulled from the game after 80 pitches. Wright was on a shorter rope after throwing 65 pitches in his last rehabilitation start with Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.

In Wright's only previous start in Toronto, he lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on three hits, four walks and a hit batter. He went deeper this time.


Four of the seven hits he allowed were for extra bases. But Wright dodged the big inning, stranding six runners over his four innings, including four in scoring position.

"It gets compounded by the fact we had four hits," Showalter said. "But I thought he was better than last time here and he's pitched some good games for us. I like the way he attacked the strike zone. … Mike is going to help us. I like the way he went out and competed today. I've got no problems with his effort. If we had scored seven runs, we'd talk about how well he pitched today."

Wright said he attacked the strike zone with much more confidence than his first start at the Rogers Centre.

"I had zero confidence going into that game, I have no idea why," Wright said. "I wasn't attacking and I tried to attack a lot more today than last time. You have no chance to get an out if you don't throw strikes. Felt like I attacked the zone well today and that's a positive. … Honestly, that was the first time in my career I'd ever [pitched without confidence], at any level. It was a little frustrating. I was actually glad I got sent down and I could kind of recover and be a little more mentally prepared."

One pitch Wright would have liked to have had back was the 2-2 hanging slider in the first inning to Jose Bautista, who blasted the pitch into the second deck in left for a solo homer, his 32nd of the season.

"It wasn't the pitch selection, it was more the way I threw it," Wright said. "I should have thrown it off the plate or down and I missed middle with it. I had been missing with my slider up to that point. That was one of the pitches I threw without 100-percent confidence."


Bautista drove in two runs, also singling home Kevin Pillar with a ground-rule double in the third to give Toronto a 2-0 lead. The fact that the ball one-hopped the center-field fence saved the Orioles a run because Josh Donaldson was right behind Pillar rounding the bases, and was sent back to third.

Wright allowed three consecutive hits in the fourth, capped by Ben Revere's RBI single to give the Blue Jays a three-run lead.

Rule 5 draft pick Jason Garcia allowed two more runs in the fifth.

Price, meanwhile, made easy work of the Orioles. He retired nine straight before a pair of walks led to the Orioles' only run of the game. He issued a leadoff walk to Chris Davis in the seventh, then two batters later walked Jonathan Schoop.

Joseph followed with a single to left past a diving Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, scoring Davis. But Price struck out Lake and Paul Janish to get out of the inning. Price struck out eight on the day, and Joseph's single in the seventh was the only hit he allowed in his final 4 2/3 innings.

Over two meetings against the Orioles this season, Price — who recorded his 100th career win Saturday — has held them to two runs over 14 innings, posting a 1.29 ERA while striking out 20 batters. While still with the Tigers, Price struck out 12 and allowed one run over seven innings against the Orioles on July 18 in Detroit.


In 19 career starts against the Orioles, Price is 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA.