Orioles battered by Blue Jays, flustered by Alvarez in 13-0 loss

Homeplate umpire Chad Fairchild calls a third strike on Adam Jones to end the game. The Orioles fell to the Blue Jays, 13-0.
Homeplate umpire Chad Fairchild calls a third strike on Adam Jones to end the game. The Orioles fell to the Blue Jays, 13-0. (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

Give Toronto Blue Jays rookie Henderson Alvarez some credit for not discriminating by level.

He has now beaten easily the Orioles and the Bowie Baysox in the same month, though, to be honest, he did have a little more trouble taming the Orioles' Double-A affiliate.

On Wednesday night, in just his fifth big league start, Toronto's 21-year-old Venezuelan right-hander was three singles short of perfect for eight innings in a 13-0 dismantling of the Orioles before an announced 14,211 at Camden Yards.

It was the Orioles' most lopsided shutout since July 4, 2006, against the Chicago White Sox, which they also lost, 13-0.

"I was impressed with their kid. It goes without saying," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You don't see many pitchers make that many quality fastball pitches. A lot of life. You can see why they're excited about him. Another product of what they've been doing internationally in Venezuela."

The Orioles (54-80) have dropped nine of 14 games against Toronto (68-68) this season.

They were down 7-0 by the third and 11-0 by the fourth in what was their second-worst blowout of the season behind the 17-3 debacle against the New York Yankees on July 30. The Orioles have now allowed 10 or more runs in 13 games this season, all losses.

Alvarez (1-2) cruised, allowing only a single to rookie Ryan Adams in the third while facing the minimum number of batters through seven innings in his first big league win.

Using a diving, four-seam fastball that routinely hit 94 mph, Alvarez finally gave up two singles in the eighth, letting a runner get to second for the first time all night. He recorded 22 of his 24 outs via strikeout or groundout.

"This was the first time I've ever seen him. I watched a little film on him before. I knew he had some good stuff coming in," Adams said. "It's frustrating. He comes out and he was throwing hard. When a guy's got sink like that at the last minute, it's diving. It's tough to square up."

Three of Alvarez's five strikeouts came against first baseman Mark Reynolds, who set a single-season Orioles record in the eighth when he fanned for the 161st time in 2011, surpassing Mickey Tettleton's mark of 160 set in 1990.

Alvarez had never faced the Orioles before, but he did shut down one of their affiliates Aug. 5 in an 11-3 New Hampshire win over the Baysox. He gave up two runs in five innings in that start, his last in the minors, before being promoted directly from the Eastern League.

Former Orioles farmhand Rommie Lewis threw a scoreless ninth but surrendered the Orioles' only extra-base hit, a double to rookie Matt Angle.

Jo-Jo Reyes (7-11), whom the Orioles claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on Aug. 2, was hoping to make a statement against the club that gave up on him. Instead, he lasted just 22/3 innings, done in by a 25-pitch, six-run third in which he gave up three singles, a double and two homers.

"The way I left the ball up today, no matter what team was out there, I was going to get hit hard," Reyes said. "I've got to make an adjustment down in the zone, and that's one thing I was doing."

Kelly Johnson had a three-run blast, his first as a Blue Jay, and Jose Molina hit a solo shot to chase Reyes, who was charged with seven earned runs and eight hits.

Orioles lefty Zach Phillips made his big league debut, yielding two hits in one inning.

Showalter was asked after the game whether he thought Reyes was too ramped up trying to prove something to the Blue Jays.

"Somewhat, maybe. I don't know," the manager said. "He's had some outings that have been OK. He's had some where he's pitched very similar to the way he pitched tonight and it wasn't against Toronto, so I'm not going to put a whole lot of credence in that."

Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer against Brad Bergesen in the fourth, and Jose Bautista added his 39th of the season, a 414-foot missile off Troy Patton.

"We made a lot of bad pitches," Showalter said succinctly



Recommended on Baltimore Sun