TORONTO (AP)Cedric Mullins had three hits, Tyler Wells pitched six innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time, and the Orioles pounded former Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman in a 10-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
Wells (4-4) allowed one run and five hits, completing six innings in consecutive starts for the first time in his career to help the Orioles split the four-game series.
”We took really good at-bats off Gausman,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. ”I was really happy with the pressure we put on them, and making him come in the strike zone. We just jumped on him early. It was great.”
Austin Hays hit his ninth home run, a solo shot off Matt Gage in the eighth, and Rougned Odor had two hits and two RBIs as Baltimore won for the fourth time in six games.
”I wasn’t hitting my spots,” Gausman said. ”My pitches just didn’t really have anything today. Not acceptable, obviously.”
Facing the team that drafted him for the first time, Gausman (5-6) allowed a season-worst seven runs, five earned, and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of 2022.
”I was really excited to face them, honestly,” Gausman said. ”Baltimore has always been a special place in my heart. I was there for a long time. I really wanted to go out there and shove it to them, to be honest. Not what I envisioned in my first start against my former team.”
Gausman, who lost his third straight start, hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 12 previous starts.
”He wasn’t commanding all his pitches,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. ”They did a good job laying off his splitter and slider. It seemed like they were hunting for the fastball and they got him.”
Baltimore selected Gausman with the fourth overall pick in 2012 and he spent parts of six seasons with the Orioles, going 39-51 with a 4.22 ERA in 150 games before a deadline trade to Atlanta in 2018.
Toronto’s Teoscar Hernandez homered for the second straight game, a solo blast off Wells in the fourth that ended a run of nine straight batters retired.
Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette left after seven innings, one inning after fouling a pitch off his right foot. The defensive changes saw slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. move from first base to third base for the final two innings. He didn’t have any chances at third.
Mullins led off the first inning with a single, stole second, and scored on a fielder’s-choice grounder by Adley Rutschman.
The Orioles broke it open with a six-run, seven-hit third, matching their biggest inning of the season. Mullins started it with a single, and third baseman Santiago Espinal made a two-base error on Hays’ grounder, leading to Ryan Mountcastle’s two-run single.
Rutschman doubled Mountcastle to third, Odor hit a sacrifice fly, and Tyler Nevin and Ryan McKenna hit RBI doubles on consecutive pitches to bring Gausman’s outing to an ugly finish.
”For whatever reason, I couldn’t figure it out and couldn’t make the adjustment,” Gausman said.
David Phelps came on and retired Robinson Chirinos, then gave up an RBI single to Jorge Mateo and Mullins’ second single of the inning before getting Hays to fly out.
Orioles: 1B Trey Mancini (right hand) sat for the third straight game.
Blue Jays: 3B Matt Chapman (left wrist) was not available. Chapman missed three games earlier this week but played Tuesday and Wednesday, going 3 for 8 with two homers. … OF George Springer got the day off.
TWICE AS NICE
Before Mullins did it Thursday, Mountcastle was the last Orioles player with a two-hit inning, doing it on Sept. 8, 2021 against Kansas City.
Baltimore was the only big league team Gausman had not faced before Thursday.
Baltimore optioned struggling LHP Bruce Zimmermann to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled RHP Michael Baumann from Norfolk. Zimmermann has more home runs allowed (17) than strikeouts (16) over his past seven starts. … Hyde said substitute players OF Kyle Stowers and RHP Rico Garcia will return to Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, with OF Anthony Santander and LHP Keegan Akin being activated off the restricted list.
Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (1-1, 3.86 ERA) starts Friday as Baltimore returns home to begin a three-game series against Tampa Bay. RHP Shane Baz (0-1, 19.29) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (3-1, 3.14) starts Friday as Toronto begins a three-game series against the New York Yankees. LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 2.70) goes for the Yankees.
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