Is there anything better in baseball than getting to face the Baltimore Orioles at home? The Jays got just that tonight in the opener of a three-game set at Rogers Centre, winning 5-0 behind six shutout innings from Shaun Marcum, solo homers from Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells and an “infield homer” from Jose Bautista, according to the genius sitting behind me, which was actually a triple off the right field wall with a throwing error (The fan also noted the rarity of the event, remarking to the girlfriend he somehow acquired that it “only happened twice per year”.). Even though it’s just as good as a homer, I had promised a kid in the hospital that Bautista would deliver the real thing, so he’s now required to catch a fly ball with his hat as atonement in tomorrow’s game.
Marcum wasn’t dominant — he gave up six hits and it took 106 pitches to get through six — but never really got into any serious trouble, with an early 3-0 lead never giving this one the makings of a close game. Shawn Camp, Casey Janssen and Kevin Gregg each pitched a shutout inning in relief, with Marcum lowering his ERA to 2.59 and grabbing the win to go to 5-1. Since beating Oakland May 2 for his first win since September 2008, he’s 5-0 in six starts, with the only no-decision coming in a 7-4 win over the White Sox.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak and leaves Toronto at 28-22 — good for third in the East and a game up on the Boston, which dropped its second straight to the Royals at Fenway tonight, 12-5. Brett Cecil (4-2, 4.10) has the ball for the Jays in Saturday’s middle game, with Baltimore’s Chris Tillman making his season debut on the eventual losing side.