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BAL@TOR: Wieters ties it with a two-run shot to left

TORONTO -- In baseball, you can have all the hits in the world, but if they don't come at the right time you often end up out of luck.

The Orioles learned that the hard way Tuesday night as they put up their highest total in the hit column since May 26 but still came away with a 6-5 extra innings loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

No, hitting was certainly not a problem, as three Orioles picked up three hits apiece and the team put at least one runner on base in eight out of 11 innings. Timing, rather, was the issue.

"We created opportunities. We had some situations like when we got that man on third base and one out. That was a kick in the pants," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There's just so many good things that happened to get back in that game. We just couldn't get over the hump."

Those good things would be J.J. Hardy, who went 3-for-6 with two doubles in just his fifth game as the team's leadoff hitter. It would also be Nick Markakis and Luke Scott, who went a combined 6-for-9 and were seemingly on base all night. And, of course, it would be Matt Wieters, whose two-run home run in the eighth tied the game and forced extras.

But it was in those bonus innings that the Orioles left four men on base -- to raise their game total to 10 -- as the team hit a paltry 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Both Adam Jones and Robert Andino left five on base apiece as the O's struggled to get the timely hits necessary to get over the hump.

"We could've come out differently, but that's how the game goes. It goes up and down," Andino said. "It's a grind, and the pitchers kept us in it. We just didn't come through when we needed to."

The pitchers, seemingly, struggled with their timing as well as Toronto grinded out at-bats, forcing Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas' pitch count to hit the century mark by the sixth inning. Toronto is well known for its aggressive, swing-early approach at the plate, but the Blue Jays picked a good game to try something new.

Jakubauskas -- making just his second start of the season -- fell behind 15 of the 28 batters he faced and walked a career-high four as he struggled with his command against a surprisingly patient Blue Jays lineup.

"They were taking good pitches too," Jakubauskas, who surrendered four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, said. "They started taking, and all of a sudden you're 1-0, 2-0. I thought I made some good pitches [on] 2-0 to get back into counts, but it's just one of those nights where the ball was going their way."

Jakubauskas was spared from a decision, however, as Koji Uehara took the loss in the bottom of the 11th when Adam Lind smacked a high splitter off the second deck facade in right.

The loss dropped Uehara to 1-1 on the season, and raised his ERA to 2.43. He combined with Jeremy Accardo, Michael Gonzalez and Jim Johnson to pitch 4 2/3 innings of decent relief, giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out five.

Johnson was especially effective, working out of two bases-loaded jams in the eighth before spinning a perfect ninth on just 11 pitches, giving way to Uehara in the 10th.

Uehara had been a reliable option for the Orioles, having not allowed a run in his past six appearances.

But the commonality between those six outings was their length -- one inning. Uehara was asked to pitch one inning plus one batter Tuesday. That batter ended the game.

"We have a lot of confidence in [Uehara,]" Wieters said. "It was just a splitter up in the zone. It's something where if it has its normal action, it's probably a ground ball. But he made a mistake. And give Lind credit -- he hit it."

Credit to Lind, indeed. But get one thing straight. Lind didn't hit it -- he crushed it.

"He hung a splitter, and I hit it right on the sweet spot," Lind said. "The way we won tonight, I thought was great. Any win you can get in the division is going to be big."

The other side of the dramatic way the Blue Jays won, of course, was the crushing way the Orioles lost. Baltimore showed as much resiliency as they have all season, coming from behind to tie the game twice and getting a clutch homer of their own from Wieters to send the game to extras.

There were missteps along the way, like the botched double play in the third when Andino's throw from second -- "I just had a bad grip, should've held it," he said -- sailed to the left of first baseman Derrek Lee, allowing a runner to score from third base.

Or the 2-2 pitch that Accardo left up to Aaron Hill in the bottom of the seventh that Hill deposited into the left-field bullpen for a two-run lead.

But the fact remained that the Orioles had their chances to get ahead throughout the game and simply weren't able to capitalize.

"It's a tough situation," Wieters said. "When you've got guys at first and second, you've got to get a base hit to drive the guys in. But we weren't able to come through today." Comments