By Keegan Matheson and Gregor Chisholm
TORONTO -- Baltimore jumped out to an early lead and Toronto's bats stirred, but never fully woke, as the Orioles opened the series on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
The Orioles have been desperate for quality innings from their starting rotation lately, and Kevin Gausman gave them exactly that over his 5 1/3 frames. The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out four en route to his first scoreless outing of 2017.
"There were a lot of 3-2 counts, but he made that pitch," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "There's such a fine line between a good outing and a challenging outing."
Mark Trumbo's first-inning double and Adam Jones' third-inning single accounted for the O's entire offense, but that was all they needed as the Blue Jays failed to capitalize on their handful of opportunities early in the game. Troy Tulowitzki did manage to break the shutout, however, driving a home run to left-center off Brad Brach with two out in the bottom of the ninth.
Toronto starter Joe Biagini struggled with his control at times, setting a new career high with four walks in his 10th start of the season. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits and was lifted after 5 1/3 innings.
"Not many chances to get things going," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position. "A couple, and then of course Tulo's home run. A lean night."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Trumbo wastes no time: Trumbo opened the scoring for Baltimore in the top of the first with a scorching double off the wall in center that scored Jonathan Schoop and Jones. Trumbo took the fastball from Biagini and drove it with an exit velocity of 111.2 mph over Kevin Pillar's head, and despite a strong relay to home from Tulowitzki, the throw wasn't in time to get Jones.
"I thought the key at-bat of the game was Jones' walk in the first inning," Showalter said. "Those things just really are momentum, even in the first inning, to have that good an at-bat and pass the baton to some pretty good hitters."
Orioles walk a tightrope in the 6th: Gausman's night ended in the sixth inning after a Jose Bautista single and Russell Martin walk put two runners on, but Toronto couldn't cash in on its best opportunity of the game. After reliever Mychal Givens moved those runners up to second and third with a wild pitch, Josh Donaldson lined one directly into the glove of Manny Machado for the second out. Justin Smoak walked to load the bases with two out, but Givens struck out Kendrys Morales with an eye-level fastball to escape the jam.
"There's some teams I've played on in the past that would have a lot of fun with that tomorrow. Somebody would go to a costume jewelry place and buy about 15 of those, and wear them to batting practice tomorrow. I'm sure for what he paid for it, I'd have stopped and picked it up too." -- Showalter, on Jones, who broke his necklace with a swing in the first inning
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Left-hander Wade Miley (3-5, 4.48 ERA), who has struggled to limit his walks this season, gets the ball for Wednesday's 7:07 p.m. ET contest at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-4, 3.69 ERA) has been Toronto's most consistent starter this season, but is coming off an uncharacteristic stretch in which he's allowed three home runs in each of his last two starts. He takes the mound at home Wednesday at 7:07 p.m. ET.