TORONTO (AP) - On any other night, Buck Showalter felt his team likely could have had a chance to win. Going up against a dominating Ricky Romero, Showalter could only tip his cap.
``I felt like if we could have held them at 2-0, where his pitch count was, we were going to be able to get a shot at somebody other than him, which is a lot better proposition with what he was featuring,' Showalter said after the Romero pitched the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. ``When you're carrying those three pitches, it's a tough proposition for anybody.'
Romero (6-6) tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and walked four for the Blue Jays, who have won 16 straight games over the Orioles at the Rogers Centre dating to Aug. 7, 2009.
He walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning and needed Frank Francisco to complete the game. Romero was charged with one earned run after Matt Wieters hit an RBI single off Francisco in the bottom of the ninth.
Vladimir Guerrero popped out before Wieters' opposite-field single scored Nick Markakis. Francisco then coaxed a double-play ball from Derrek Lee to earn his sixth save in nine chances.
Showalter credited Romero for coming back strong after being tagged for 11 hits and five runs in a start at Baltimore earlier this month.
``He pitched us differently tonight,' Showalter said. ``He made some adjustments to some of those things that we did.'
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, 0 for 3 with a walk against Romero, praised the Blue Jays ace while challenging his teammates after their fourth straight loss.
``He dealt,' Jones said. ``He had that changeup and every count he threw it, he had me off balance. He had a lot of people off balance. But we've seen him enough. We've got to come with a better plan. He's in our division. He's had six or seven starts against us since I've been here. We can do better. We've got a good team. We can do better, I know that. We've got to just take a step back and get better.'
Jake Arrieta (8-4) gave up three runs on nine hits in 6 2-3 innings for Baltimore. The 25-year-old struck out five and walked two, one of them intentional.
``I think it was pretty good overall, attacked their hitters for the most part really well,' Arrietta said. ``A consequence was a few knocks, a few base hits and the two home runs were the big blows there. But they were solo shots. I was keeping guys off base for the most part.'
Yunel Escobar's leadoff home run and Juan Rivera's solo shot in the sixth were the 11th and 12th against Arrieta in 15 starts this season.
Last year, he gave up just nine homers in 18 starts.
``I think early on in the season I was falling behind guys and they were able to be a lot more comfortable in the box,' he said. ``Tonight it was just a matter of those guys swinging the bats well. They knew I was going to attack them and come at them with all my pitches and they got a couple good pitches to hit.'
Escobar's eighth home run of the season gave Toronto an early 1-0 lead.
In the sixth, Rivera touched Arrieta for his fifth home run of the season to put the Blue Jays ahead 2-0.
Reliever Clay Rapada took over from Arrieta in the bottom of the seventh following a two-out walk to Jose Bautista.
Adam Lind doubled Toronto's lead to 4-0 with his 13th home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch from Rapada.
Until Lind's two-run homer in the seventh, it looked as though Toronto would continue a trend of meager offense with its ace on the mound. Before Wednesday night, the Blue Jays had scored 13 runs for Romero in two of his 13 previous starts.
In the left-hander's 11 other starts, Toronto had scored a total of 11 runs.
Newly called up right-hander Jason Berken replaced Rapada to get the final out of the seventh inning.
``We wanted to get him out there and not leave him too long so he's still a long option for us tomorrow,' Showalter said.
Former Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Orioles.
Notes: Baltimore 2b Brian Roberts took the day off Wednesday and will be reevaluated on Thursday after waking up with headaches. Roberts is on the 15-day DL because of a concussion and took part in ``exertional' exercises on Tuesday ... J.J. Hardy's fourth-inning double gave him an eight-game hitting streak. ... Orioles manager Buck Showalter did not hold out hope Toronto's ``70's Night' promotion would sway locals to come to the park instead of watching Game 7 of the NHL's Stanley Cup finals between Vancouver and Boston. ``That's the decision for fans who are going to be here tonight, that or Game 7?,' Showalter said. ``I'll make a bet who's going to win that one. ... Lind's intentional walk was the first of the season. The Blue Jays 1b/DH now has six home runs and 12 RBIs in 11 games since coming of the DL.
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