Toronto — The Orioles' three-game road winning streak ended Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, their bats silenced by Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman in a 4-0 loss.
Stroman, who was coming off one of his worst outings of the season, held the Orioles scoreless through 7 2/3 innings while limiting them to five hits. Stroman retired 17 of the last 20 batters he faced, and none of the three base runners he allowed reached second base.
The Orioles, who dropped back below .500 with the loss (38-39), did not have a single runner in scoring position against Stroman and had just one all night.
The loss was the Orioles' fifth shutout defeat this season.
"He was commanding his fastball," third baseman Manny Machado said of Stroman, who used his sinker to record 11 ground-ball outs and just two in the air. "He pitched well today. Sometimes you win some and you lose some. You've got to tip your cap to a good pitcher and he did his job today and kept the ball out of the air. You've just tip your cap and move on."
One night after the Orioles pulled out a rare low-scoring win, they had no answers for Stroman, who leaned on a two-seam sinking fastball that found the lower part of the strike zone. He owned the glove side of the plate with a precise slider that had the Orioles chasing and frustrated.
Stroman, who allowed a season-high seven runs in his previous start last Thursday in Texas, yielded just two singles and a walk after Caleb Joseph's leadoff single in the third.
"He feeds off of emotion," shortstop Paul Janish said. "When he gets rolling he feeds off of his own self. He did a good job of that tonight. Hopefully we come tomorrow and have the chance to win the series."
Stroman struck out eight Orioles on the night, getting 19 strike calls on his 74 two-seamers. The Orioles recorded eight swings and misses on his 20 sliders that tailed away to right-handed hitters.
"He was working the bottom of the zone with two or three pitches," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There really wasn't one you could box out and I think both pitchers were making use of [an umpire] hunting strikes. I'll leave it at that. But it was the same both ways. He was really the difference."
Another short start
Wade Miley lasted five innings — marking the 16th time in the past 18 games that an Orioles starter has failed to get through six innings — allowing four runs, three of them earned, on six hits and four walks. Miley hasn't gone into the sixth inning in any of his past five starts.
Miley struggled to locate his fastball, forcing him to work from behind in the count with his off-speed pitches. He threw just 12 of 24 first-pitch strikes.
"What did me in was falling behind guys right out of the gate," Miley said. "Got to figure out how to get the fastball back over the plate. Didn't have it at all tonight. Just lost. Try to throw down the middle and I was struggling getting it over there. I was a little quick in my delivery at times."
Miley limited damage through his first three inning of work after Jose Bautista hit his second delivery of the night over the right-center-field fence to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. In the second and third innings, he erased leadoff base runners with double-play balls that created harmless innings.
But in the fourth, Toronto tagged Miley for three runs, though two of them could have been avoided with more heady defensive play.
A fateful fourth
Asher strong in relief