BALTIMORE (AP) - A road trip that began with such promise - a four-game sweep in Kansas City - ended with a thud for the Toronto Blue Jays.
And after absorbing a 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night, slugger Jose Bautista knows it's time for the suddenly punchless Blue Jays to rediscover their offense.
``I'm not really worried about the offense,' Bautista said. ``I know we're going to pick it up. Hopefully, it's sooner rather than later. Our pitching is doing awesome. On the offensive side, we'd like to give them better support.'
Toronto scored only three runs while being swept at Camden Yards by the resurgent Orioles, who have won four straight. In the latest loss, the Blue Jays wasted a solid outing from rookie right-hander Drew Hutchison, who allowed two runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
``I feel like I threw the ball pretty well,' Hutchison said. ``I got into a nice rhythm there for about four innings and executed some quality pitches.'
None of that mattered, however, after another stirring comeback by the Orioles, who took the lead for good when Adam Jones led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer.
Jones ripped the first pitch from Casey Janssen (1-1) into the first row of the left-field stands, barely eluding the leap of Eric Thames. It was his sixth homer of the season.
Asked if he enjoyed a flair for the dramatic, Jones said: ``If the situation calls for it, I'm not going to shy away from it. ... I'm just looking for something out over the plate. Not necessarily a first-pitch slider away, but I was looking for a heater up, something to drive. I was able to just get enough of it to hit it out.'
Darren Oliver replaced Janssen after Jones' drive and allowed Matt Wieters' single before Chris Davis hit a two-run homer to right-center.
Darren O'Day (2-0) pitched two perfect innings in relief of Brian Matusz, who might have saved his spot in the rotation with a strong outing. Luis Ayala worked the ninth for his first save.
``I just wish we could have got (Matusz) a W. ... But we won as a team and he understands that,' Jones said. ``He went out and threw six very, very, very good innings.'
Matusz, attempting to snap a career-high 12-game losing streak, yielded two runs - none earned - and four hits. He walked two and struck out three.
``This year, I've felt good out there in multiple outings,' Matusz said. ``Just today I was able to be consistent and really find myself getting into a groove and putting everything together, and I'm just not trying to do too much but being able to hit locations and make good pitches.'
Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn't sound as though he was considering a change in the rotation.
``He pitches like that, he's going to get all the wins he wants,' Showalter said.
The Blue Jays have lost three straight and are 1-5 against the Orioles this season.
``We've got to play better collectively,' manager John Farrell said. ``The way this road trip started out, with a four-game sweep in Kansas City, to have it end this way kind of leaves a bad taste.'
Baltimore's Ryan Flaherty had two hits and an RBI, the firsts of his major league career.
Runs were at a premium early, when Hutchison and Matusz took turns putting zeros on the scoreboard through the first four innings.
Baltimore took a lead in the fifth when Davis worked Hutchison for a leadoff walk and Mark Reynolds lined a single to center. Davis moved to third on Nick Johnson's fly to right and Flaherty hit a sacrifice fly.
Toronto went ahead in the sixth on an error by Johnson at first base that allowed two runs to score.
Yunel Escobar led off with a single and Bautista drew a one-out walk. One out later, Thames hit a 1-2 pitch from Matusz down the first base line and past Johnson, who missed an attempt to backhand the bouncer, the miscue letting both runners score.
The Orioles tied the game in the sixth, taking advantage of Escobar's error at shortstop.
Nick Markakis doubled and Jones hit a grounder into the hole. Escobar fielded the infield hit but threw wildly to first, allowing Markakis to score the tying run and Jones to advance to second. Luis Perez relieved and got Wieters to ground into a fielder's choice, with Jones erased at third.
NOTES: Matusz wasn't charged with a run for the first time since Sept. 27, 2010. ... RHP Dustin McGowan, on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from a foot injury, experienced right shoulder problems while long tossing and will be shut down for two weeks, Farrell said. An MRI revealed inflammation. ... Toronto starting pitchers have gone at least five innings in 21 straight games dating to last Sept. 27.
The Associated Press News Service
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