Reynolds grand slam leads Orioles past Blue Jays 5-3

June 05, 2011 | WNST Staff

BALTIMORE (AP) Mark Reynolds is known for his home runs and strikeouts. Until Saturday night, he’s also been known for his futility with the bases loaded.

With the bases full, Reynolds was 6 for 52 – with 26 strikeouts – and no homers in 2,165 at-bats. With the Baltimore Orioles trailing by two runs in the sixth and with the bases jammed, Reynolds hit the first pitch from Ricky Romero into the left-center field stands, helping the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3.

Reynolds’ big hit made a winner out of Jake Arrieta, who pitched six solid innings and gave up three runs.

“Obviously that’s the best result possible, but I’m just trying to get a pitch to hit,” Reynolds said.

“With the way I’ve been swinging the bat, I’ve been struggling a little bit and I was trying to barrel the ball. The home run was a bonus.”

The major leagues’ single-season strikeout leader, Reynolds, who struck out more than 200 times the last three years with Arizona, is still batting just .189 with 58 strikeouts this season. The home run was his eighth of the season.

“It wasn’t relief,” Reynolds said. “I was more happy for getting Arrieta off the hook and giving us the lead.”

Romero (5-5) lost for the first time in his last five starts. He held the Orioles, who had lost six of seven, to a run and six hits through five innings. The missed cut fastball to Reynolds ruined his night.

“You can have your best stuff out there and it can still work against you. One pitch can cost you the game,” Romero said.

Arrieta (7-3), allowed three runs on five hits, walking four and striking out one. While his line didn’t look impressive, he got better as he went along – retiring his last seven batters.

“My outing – it was pretty ugly – to be honest with you,” Arrieta said.

Jim Johnson pitched a perfect seventh. Koji Uehara allowed a hit and then struck out the side in the eighth. Kevin Gregg allowed two hits in the ninth, but retired the final two batters for his 10th save in 13 chances.

Vladimir Guerrero singled to lead off the sixth. Derrek Lee and Matt Wieters singled to load the bases. J.J. Hardy bounced to third, and Guerrero was forced at the plate. Reynolds then unloaded.

“That’s a big swing,” Toronto manager John Farrell said.

Arrieta fell behind quickly. The game’s second batter – Corey Patterson hit an 0-2 pitch over the right field scoreboard for a 1-0 lead. It was Patterson’s fifth of the year. He had three hits.

In the second, Rajai Davis‘ sacrifice fly scored Juan Rivera for the second Toronto run.

Baltimore scored in the second when Hardy’s infield out scored Lee.

Arrieta escaped from a bases-loaded, none out jam when Rivera grounded into a rare 5-2-3 double play and J.P. Arrencibia flied to right.

In the fourth, Davis, who had three hits on Friday night, reached on a fielder’s choice. He stole second and third, and scored on Mike McCoy‘s RBI single.

Romero pitched 7 2-3 innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits. He struck out five and walked three.

NOTES: Baltimore reactivated Lee from the 15-day disabled list and optioned LHP Pedro Viola to Double A-Bowie. Lee, whose rehab assignment to Bowie, lasted just one game, was 2 for 4 with two runs scored. “I didn’t feel any pain, woke up today fine and they brought me back,” Lee said. Manager Buck Showalter joked about the 6-foot-5 Lee, “He’s probably the biggest leadoff hitter in the Eastern League,” Showalter said. …. Orioles 2B Brian Roberts, who’s been on the DL with a concussion since May 17, will fly to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for a reexamination, Showalter said. … Toronto 2B Adam Lind was 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game after missing nearly four weeks with back stiffness. Lind said he was frightened when he was in the doctor’s office. “No mom, no dad in the room, no wife. You’re just sitting there all alone.” … Baltimore OF Nick Markakis has a hit in 159 straight series – the most since Seattle OF Ichiro Suzuki hit in 160 consecutive series. … The Orioles and Blue Jays have split the first two games of the three-game series. The previous eight series between the teams were sweeps.