TORONTO (AP) — After he gave up a career-worst seven runs against the Boston Red Sox last week, Blue Jays rookie right-hander Trent Thornton was concerned he might be tipping his pitches.
Thornton made a mechanical adjustment between starts, then came out and carved up the Orioles.
Thornton pitched six shutout innings to win for the first time in four starts, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run home run and Toronto beat Baltimore 6-1 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
“(Pitching coach Pete Walker) and I looked at some video,” Thornton said of the response to his rough start against the Red Sox. “There were some things that could possibly have been tipping. I think a lot of it was mechanical, being a little over-rotational. That was a pretty easy adjustment to make.
“When I’m going straight towards the plate, my stuff is a lot later and sharper,” Thornton added. “Today, for the most part, I felt like I was able to repeat that delivery and kind of attack hitters the way I know I’m capable of.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had two hits and scored twice and Teoscar Hernandez drove in a pair as the Blue Jays snapped a three-game home losing streak in their final game before the All-Star break.
Held to one run in each of the first two games of the series, Toronto scored at least six for the ninth time in 11 games.
Baltimore’s three game winning streak was snapped as the Orioles failed to match their season-best mark, a four-game run from Match 30 to April 2. Like the one that ended Sunday, that streak also included two victories over Toronto.
“You win a series on the road, you can’t be disappointed about that,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Thornton (3-6) allowed three hits, walked none and struck out five. The right-hander won for the first time since June 16 at Houston, when he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Astros. The win was his first in nine home starts this season.
Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini went 0 for 3 with a strikeout against Thornton.
“He hit his spots really well,” Mancini said. “His fastball just kind of got on you. It definitely plays up. On the scoreboard I think it said 92, 93 but it seemed harder than that. He dropped the curveball in when he needed to, but he just kind of dominated with the fastball for the most part.”
Baltimore broke through against Toronto’s bullpen in the seventh when Orioles catcher Chance Sisco homered on the third pitch he saw from right-hander David Phelps. The homer was Sisco’s sixth.
Phelps, Tim Mayza and Daniel Hudson all worked one inning of relief for the Blue Jays.
Guerrero Jr., who came in hitting .200 (5 for 25) over the first nine games of Toronto’s homestand, was dropped to fifth in the order, the lowest he’s batted since May 7 against Minnesota. He doubled and scored in the fourth and started a three-run rally with a leadoff single in the sixth.
Orioles right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (0-2) allowed three runs and four hits in four-plus innings in his second start of the season. Wojciechowski started in place of righty Gabriel Ynoa, who pitched one inning of relief.
Gurriel got the Blue Jays started with a one-out drive to center in the first, his 16th. All of Gurriel’s home runs have come since he was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on May 24, tying him for the major league lead in that span. San Diego’s Hunter Renfroe also had 16 heading into Sunday’s game against the Dodgers.
Toronto catcher Danny Jansen doubled to drive in Guerrero Jr. in the fourth, and the Blue Jays added three more in the sixth on an RBI double by Rowdy Tellez and a two-run single from Hernandez. Both hits came off left-hander Richard Bleier.
Jansen has not struck out in 45 plate appearances, the longest active streak in the majors.
Orioles: Hyde said RHP Mychal Givens was available in an emergency situation Sunday after not pitching the previous two games. Givens has been sore since making a diving play to tag Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier out at home plate last Wednesday. “He took a pretty good shot there,” Hyde said.
Blue Jays: OF Randal Grichuk (back) sat for the fourth straight day. … Guerrero Jr. started at 3B. He left Saturday’s game after seven innings because of an illness.
Orioles: RHP Aaron Brooks, who was claimed from Oakland on Saturday, is expected to join the team following the All-Star break. The Orioles cleared a spot for Brooks by optioning RHP David Hess to Triple-A following Sunday’s game.
Blue Jays: Toronto recalled RHP Justin Shafer from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned OF Jonathan Davis to Triple-A.
Before the game, Hyde was asked what he’d told first-time All-Star John Means about the experience awaiting him in Cleveland this week. Hyde’s advice: make sure you stock up on swag.
“The gift basket room, whatever they call that,” Hyde said. “The swag room is unreal. Go in there with a shopping cart and load up.”
Orioles: Baltimore returns home after the All-Star break to host Tampa Bay in a four-game series.
Blue Jays: Toronto heads to New York after the All-Star break to kick off a season-long 10-game road trip with three against the Yankees.
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