Shaun Marcum Wins Fourth Straight Start as Jays Beat Orioles 5-0


TORONTO — Orioles manager Dave Trembley was as blunt as could be when discussing Baltimore's defense in the first inning.

Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells hit solo home runs, Shaun Marcum allowed six hits in six innings to win his fourth straight start and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of a trio of poor plays in the first that Trembley called "terrible" to beat the Orioles 5-0 Friday night.

Second baseman Scott Moore failed to charge a slow roller by leadoff man Fred Lewis, who beat out a close play at first. Moore then dropped a throw from catcher Matt Wieters as Lewis stole second, and left fielder Corey Patterson threw to the wrong base when Hill followed with an RBI single, allowing Hill to take second.

Hill later scored on a two-out triple by Jose Bautista, who scampered home for the third run when Miguel Tejada couldn't handle Moore's errant relay throw.

"It certainly would have been a lot cleaner game and given us a much better chance and given [starter Kevin] Millwood a much better chance if we had played a better bottom of the first," Trembley said.

It was another tough outing for Millwood, who came in with the lowest run support of any AL starter and got no help from either his offense or his defense.

"It's just not right," Trembley said. "It's not right. What are you going to say?"

Millwood (0-5) allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in six innings and is winless in 11 starts this season. He walked two and struck out two.

"It's just frustrating that I didn't make pitches when I needed to," Millwood said. "That's about all it is."

Wieters agreed that the Orioles had let Millwood down.

"We've got to help him out more," Wieters said. "He's been doing great for us this year to battle the way he has and get through as many innings as he's been able to get through."

Marcum (5-1) walked two and struck out seven to win his fifth straight decision. All his wins have come following a Blue Jays loss.

"Everybody wants to step up and pitch well and everyone wants to do it that much more after a loss," Marcum said. "Somebody has to get us back on a winning streak and on the right note. But it's not only me, it's the guys that are swinging the bats and playing defense behind us."

Shawn Camp worked the seventh, Casey Janssen pitched the eighth and Kevin Gregg finished to give Toronto its fifth shutout. The Blue Jays are 4-0 against Baltimore this season.

Hill went 3-for-33 on Toronto's recent eight-game road trip and came in batting just .154. He turned it around after taking extra batting practice before the game, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Hill hit an RBI single in the first and homered to left in the sixth, his seventh. Five of Hill's last eight hits have been home runs.

Both of Hill's hits came with two strikes.

"I told myself both times, 'Be ready for the fastball and as long as your foot is down, you can adjust to the rest,'" Hill said.

One out after Hill's homer, Wells drove one into the left field bullpen, his 12th.

Marcum was at his best when threatened, getting three straight outs after the Orioles opened the second with consecutive singles, and escaping another first-and-second jam in the fourth by getting Adam Jones to ground into a double play.

"That's who he is," Wieters said of Marcum. "He's a guy whose going to get in some tough situations but he's never going to give in to you. He's always going to make pitches. It's tough to put a lot of hits together against him because he's a guy who's going to hit corners, who's going to throw different pitches. He's unpredictable."

Baltimore also had two runners thrown out on the bases. Ty Wigginton was called out at second after appearing to beat Wells' throw on a single to center in the first, and Nick Markakis was thrown out by Lewis trying to stretch a two-out single into a double in the eighth.

Jones went 0-for-4, snapping his hitting streak at a career high 13 games.

Baltimore optioned RHP Cla Meredith to Triple-A Norfolk after the game, clearing a spot for RHP Chris Tillman, who is expected to come up from Triple-A and start against Toronto on Saturday. … Lewis returned to the lineup after having fluid drained from a bunion on his left foot. He had missed two games. … Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston dropped 1B Lyle Overbay from fifth to seventh in the order, and moved Bautista up to fifth. … DH Luke Scott returned for the Orioles after missing three games with a sore left shoulder. … Roberto Alomar threw out the first pitch.

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