BALTIMORE (AP) — Kendrys Morales had his home run streak snapped at seven games by the Baltimore Orioles, who ended an eight-game skid by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-0 on Monday night.
Striving to tie the major league record of homering in eight straight games, Morales went 0 for 3 with a walk and did not hit the ball out of the infield. In his final chance, the Toronto slugger swung through a slider from Paul Fry to strike out in the eighth inning.
Though he failed to match the mark shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr., Morales owns the big league record for successive games with a home run by a switch-hitter. He also owns the franchise record for consecutive games with a long ball.
Facing Baltimore rookie David Hess, against whom he homered last week, Morales struck out in the first inning, grounded out in the fourth and drew a four-pitch walk in the sixth.
Hess (3-8) tossed six innings of four-hit ball to earn his first win since May 25. He was 0-7 in his previous 12 starts, though he did pitch very well against Toronto his last time out.
The game was scoreless until the Orioles broke through in the sixth against Sam Gaviglio (3-7). After Chris Davis drove in a run by hitting into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, Trey Mancini hit a three-run homer to send Baltimore on its way to its first win since Aug. 18.
Mancini added a two-run double in the seventh and scored on a single by Tim Beckham. The five RBIs for Mancini matched his career high.
The Orioles improved to 2-12 against Toronto.
Morales endured an 0-for-29 skid in May and had only 14 homers on Aug. 14 before launching his improbable streak.
“It’s been a surprise. I didn’t see it coming,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “What’s made it more incredible is the overly extended slump at the start of the season.”
When Morales is on a roll, even pitches out of the strike zone can end up soaring over the outfield wall.
Asked how his staff could keep Morales from tying the record, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, “It’s so easy to sit there and go, ‘Listen, just don’t throw him anything.’ It’s hard to pitch around him, quite frankly.”
OLDIE BUT GOODIE
Toronto reliever Murphy Smith became the oldest Blue Jay to make his major league debut, at 31 years and 2 days. He has pitched in 277 minor league games.
Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf tightness) will start a rehab assignment Tuesday at Class A Dunedin. He has been sidelined since May 29. … INF Brandon Drury (broken left hand) had imaging done and is scheduled for another MRI later in the week, Gibbons said. … INF Yangervis Solarte (right oblique strain) has started strengthening exercises. … RHP Marcus Stroman (middle finger) has started catching and throwing progressions.
Orioles: Rookie CF Cedric Mullins returned after missing Sunday night’s game with a sore hip.
Blue Jays: LHP Thomas Pannone (1-0, 1.59 ERA) seeks his second big league victory in his second career start Tuesday night. He blanked the Orioles over seven innings last Wednesday in his starting debut.
Orioles: Showalter said he would announce his Tuesday starter after the game.
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