Orioles blank Jays, both lead Tigers by 1 1/2 games
Toronto — Ubaldo Jimenez and two relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Blue Jays 4-0 on Thursday night, moving into a tie with Toronto in the AL wild card race with three games remaining.
When he started at Toronto on June 12, Jimenez allowed five runs and six hits in 1/3 of an inning, the shortest start of his career.
The right-hander returned Thursday and carved up the Blue Jays. The only hit he allowed was Ezequiel Carrera’s single to begin the first. Josh Donaldson followed with a walk but Jimenez retired the next six batters in order.
Devon Travis walked to open the third and advanced on Carrera’s sacrifice, but that was the first of 11 consecutive outs for Jimenez, a streak that ended with Edwin Encarnacion’s two-out walk in the sixth. Jose Bautista flied out to end the inning.
Jimenez (8-12) allowed one hit in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA in five September starts. He walked three and struck out five.
Donnie Hart got one out in the seventh and Brad Brach finished.
The Orioles visit New York for the final weekend of the season, while the Blue Jays head to Boston to face the AL East champion Red Sox.
Detroit, which was rained out Thursday, is 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles and Blue Jays.
Manny Machado opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the third, Michael Bourn’s fielder’s choice grounder made it 2-0 in the fourth and Bourn scored on Kim’s two-out single in the seventh.
Mark Trumbo doubled to begin the eighth and Matt Wieters chased Marcus Stroman with an RBI single.
Stroman (9-10) gave up nine hits and four runs in seven-plus innings, reaching the 200-inning plateau for the first time. Stroman is winless in eight starts.
Blue Jays: Travis returned after sitting out the previous two games. He jammed his surgically repaired shoulder in Monday’s benches-clearing brawl with New York.
Orioles: Yovani Gallardo left Toronto on Thursday afternoon to fly to New York, where he will start Friday night against the Yankees. Gallardo (5-8, 5.63) allowed eight runs, seven earned, in 1 1/3 innings in his previous start at New York, a 14-4 loss on Aug. 26. RHP Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68) starts for the Yankees.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada will start against the Red Sox on Friday night as Toronto wraps up the regular season in Boston. Estrada has allowed one run and five hits in 14 innings over his previous two outings. Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.11) starts for the Red Sox.