Jays dismantle O's as Brett Lawrie's 1st MLB HR backs Ricky Romero

BALTIMORE -- As the Toronto Blue Jays packed and headed for home, Ricky Romero prepared to walk out of Camden Yards with another win over the Baltimore Orioles and rookie Brett Lawrie stuffed his bag with two treasured souvenirs.

Romero pitched eight innings of four-hit ball, Lawrie hit his first major league homer and the Blue Jays cruised to a 7-2 victory on Sunday.

Romero (10-9) struck out five and walked none to win his third straight start, a streak that began on July 27 with a victory over Baltimore. The only runs the left-hander allowed were on solo homers by Mark Reynolds, including a drive that traveled an estimated 450 feet.

"You can't overstate what Ricky did today in probably close to 100 degree temperatures, or it felt like it," manager John Farrell said. "Just a very good game."

Romero threw 94 pitches, 69 of them strikes. He is 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last eight starts against Baltimore.

"I enjoy pitching period, no matter who the opponent is," Romero said. "Lately it's been the consistency of throwing strikes and being in the zone and getting deep in games."

Lawrie, who made his big league debut on Friday, hit a 2-1 pitch from Alfredo Simon (3-5) into the right-field bleachers to make it 6-1 in the sixth. In addition to the solo home run, the 21-year-old Canadian also singled and scored in the third inning.

During a memorable weekend series, Lawrie got his first major league hit, his first home run and hit .455.

"Now I know I can stick and I can play with these guys," he said. "I knew I could before, but it's just a question of me getting the opportunity."

John McDonald had three hits and two RBIs for the Blue Jays, who took two of three from the Orioles and have won seven of 11 overall.

Reynolds' fourth multihomer game of the season featured a 391-foot blast and the second home run in the 20-year history of Camden Yards to reach the second deck in left field.

"Those were some bombs, man," Romero said. "The second one I didn't even look at it."

Unfortunately, the tape-measure shot did nothing to prevent another Baltimore defeat.

"If you can do it in batting practice, you can do it in the game, right?" Reynolds said. "He just threw me a low heater and I hit it pretty good. It's just one run and we ended up losing, so it's all for nothing."

Reynolds leads the team with 26 homers and ranks second with 62 RBIs.

Baltimore has not won a series since taking two of three from Cincinnati on June 24-26, going 0-9-2 in that span. First baseman Chris Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy both missed a third straight game with injuries, and second baseman Cesar Izturis left in the fifth inning with a strained left groin.

Toronto broke on top with a pair of unearned runs in the third inning. After Lawrie hit a one-out single, Rajai Davis reached when Josh Bell failed to pick up his grounder to third. Lawrie moved up on a flyball, Davis stole second and both runners scored when Jose Bautista bounced an opposite-field double down the first-base line.

The Blue Jays made it 5-0 in the third. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single and Colby Rasmus followed with the first of three straight doubles by Toronto. J.P. Arencibia drove in two runs with his liner to the gap in right-center and scored on McDonald's second extra-base hit since June 17.

Reynolds connected in the fifth, and Lawrie chased Simon with his drive in the sixth.

Reynolds crushed the first pitch from Romero in the seventh. The only other home run to reach the second deck was hit by Rex Hudler in 1995.

McDonald made it 7-2 in the eighth with an RBI single off Brad Bergesen.

Game notes
Izturis was playing in only his third game since coming off the 60-day DL with an elbow injury. Davis (shoulder) and Hardy (ankle) hope to return Monday for the opener of a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox. ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-15) will start for the Orioles on Monday. He leads the major leagues in losses. ... Blue Jays closer Jon Rauch (sore knee) was not available. With Toronto off on Monday, Farrell wanted to give Rauch an extended rest. ... Brett Cecil (4-4) takes the mound for Toronto on Tuesday against Oakland. Cecil is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last three starts. ... Orioles manager Buck Showalter said newcomer Jo-Jo Reyes would probably be the starter on Tuesday. Reyes, claimed on waivers from Toronto on Tuesday, has pitched in relief once for Baltimore.