The Orioles' recent run of good baseball couldn't overcome their propensity to lose on Sundays, with a 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre wrapping up their first half at a league-worst 27-62 entering the All-Star break.
The Sunday blues began quickly when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run home run off Asher Wojciechowski in a long first inning, and though Wojciechowski settled in, he allowed another run in the fourth on a ground-rule double by Danny Jansen.
“I just need to be better in the first,” said Wojciechowski, who allowed four hits and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, including three walks and six strikeouts. “I thought I settled down after that, but throwing  pitches in the first inning, not executing that pitch to Gurriel and giving up that two-run homer. After that I thought I really executed well. I would have liked to go deeper, but I'd like to be sharper in the first inning.”
Toronto tacked on three more runs off relievers Shawn Armstrong and Richard Bleier in the sixth inning, putting the game out of reach.
The Orioles managed just six hits, with their only run coming on an opposite-field home run by catcher Chance Sisco in the seventh inning, his sixth of the year.
Sisco singled and Renato Núñez doubled in a fruitless ninth-inning rally, consigning the Orioles to their 12th Sunday loss in 14 tries.
“I just didn't think we swung the bat,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That wasn't our best game offensively.”
The loss meant the Orioles were denied their first series sweep of the season after wins Friday and Saturday in Toronto, but the team broke up for the All-Star break feeling relatively upbeat having won two of its past three series and five of their past nine games.
“I think we played well the first two games here, and you win a series on the road, you can't be disappointed about that,” Hyde said. “Obviously, when you win the first two, you want to get the third one. But I feel pretty good about how we played the last three series. I'd love to see it continue.”
Davis heating up
With a double in the second inning and a single in the fifth, first baseman Chris Davis accounted for most of the Orioles' success at the plate. He walked in his third at-bat, leaving his batting average at .189 entering the All-Star break.
Davis has hits in four straight games and has raised his average from .172 to .189 in that span.
Still no Givens
Closer Mychal Givens wasn't required to pitch Sunday with the Orioles facing a big deficit most of the game, meaning he'll have over a week to rest after his home plate collision making a tag Wednesday in Tampa Bay kept him out of the first two games of this series.
Hyde said Givens was available in an emergency only Sunday, but instead will get the break to further heal.
The rest of the Orioles bullpen was put to work, with Armstrong, Bleier, Gabriel Ynoa and Paul Fry pitching in relief of Wojciechowski.