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McGowan tires, Blue Jays fall 10-8 to Orioles

Associated Press Updated: April 24, 2014 at 12:02 am 0

TORONTO (AP) — Dustin McGowan doesn't have the stamina he needs to get through nine innings right now, which is bad news for the Blue Jays and their overworked bullpen.

Nelson Cruz hit two of Baltimore's season-high four home runs, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters also connected and the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 10-8 Wednesday night.

McGowan, who allowed six runs and five hits in four-plus innings, said he started to tire in the fifth.

"At 60 pitches I kind of seem to be falling backwards a little bit," he said. "I feel good, my arm feels great. It's just sometimes it seems like the ball is not coming out quite right after 60-65 pitches."

The oft-injured McGowan began the season in the starting rotation this year for the first time since 2008. But after a spring training that was cut short by illness, he hasn't been able to build up his endurance, working into the sixth inning just once in four starts so far and putting a strain on Toronto's bullpen.

"I've got to find a way to get deep in the game and quit taxing the bullpen so much," McGowan said.

Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman did what McGowan could not, overcoming a six-run second inning to work into the sixth.

Tillman, who won for the third time in four starts, allowed season-highs in hits, home runs and earned runs, but none of that bothered Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.

"In a lot of ways, it might be one of his best outings this year," Showalter said.

Cruz hit a solo homer off Dustin McGowan in the third and a grand slam off Todd Redmond (0-2) in the fifth, giving him six homers this season and 11 career multihomer games. The slam was his seventh.

"Nelson is a great hitter," Wieters said. "I always had trouble calling pitches against him so I'm glad he's on our team. He's a huge addition to the middle of our lineup."

Davis hit a solo homer in the first, and Wieters added a solo drive off J.A. Happ in the seventh.

"You have so much respect for that offense," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They keep coming at you."

Brett Lawrie hit a three-run homer for Toronto, his second home run in two games. Jose Reyes had a two-run shot and Ryan Goins hit a solo homer, his first this season.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy (right hamstring) and Wieters (right forearm) both returned to Baltimore's lineup after sitting out the previous two games. Wieters hit a two-run double in Baltimore's six-run fifth and Hardy added a sacrifice fly.

Ryan Webb got one out in the sixth, Brian Matusz allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning, and Darren O'Day struck out Reyes to strand runners at first and second in the seventh.

Tommy Hunter gave up three singles in the ninth as Toronto loaded the bases with one out, but Jonathan Diaz grounded into a game-ending double play to give Hunter his sixth save in seven chances.

Cruz, who leads Baltimore with 21 RBIs, has driven in at least one run in six consecutive games, the longest streak by an Orioles player since Davis did it from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, 2012. Doug DeCinces holds the Baltimore record, driving in at least one run in 11 straight games in a streak that started in September 1978 and ended the following April.

Davis' homer was his 18th against Toronto since the start of the 2012 season, the most by any opponent. Teammate Adam Jones is second with 14.

Trailing 1-0, Toronto took the lead with a six-run second against Tillman. Lawrie hit a three-run homer and Reyes added a two-run drive, his first this season. Edwin Encarnacion capped the rally with an RBI single.

NOTES: McGowan threw 70 pitches, 43 strikes. ... Toronto OF Jose Bautista drew two walks, increasing his major league-leading total to 27. Bautista has reached safely in all 21 games this season, the longest active streak in the majors. ... Baltimore RH Bud Norris (0-1) faces Toronto's Drew Hutchison (1-1) in Thursday's series finale.

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