Lawrie debuts with 2 hits in Jays win
Brett Lawrie was a mess. After receiving a Gatorade bath, he took a shaving cream pie to the face.
Before all that, Lawrie got two singles and an RBI in his major league debut to help the visiting Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Friday night.
Lawrie hit a run-scoring single in his first at-bat and singled in the eighth inning, missing a chance for a second RBI when Colby Rasmus was thrown out at the plate.
Obtained last winter in a trade with Milwaukee, the 21-year-old from Langley, B.C., is the 17th Canadian to play for the Blue Jays. He made an error at third base in the second inning, but it was inconsequential.
What mattered was his first major league hit, which sparked a two-run second inning that enabled Toronto to wipe out an early deficit. The ball was nestled in Lawrie's locker, but he wasn't so sure because he could barely see and his ears were stuffed with foam.
"It might be somewhere," he said. "It might be. I'm still getting stuff out of my ears."
With his mother, father and sister in the stands, Lawrie put on a memorable performance.
"I'm glad I got the first one out of the way," he said.
Toronto manager John Farrell was ejected in the seventh for arguing too strongly that Baltimore's Robert Andino was running in the baseline on a grounder that resulted in a throwing error by Toronto pitcher Luis Perez. Replays appeared to support Farrell's assertion.
Although Farrell was forced to watch Lawrie's second hit on TV, the manager could appreciate the manner in which the rookie handled himself.
"If there weren't nerves tonight, he wouldn't be human," Farrell said. "I'm sure there was some anxiety, some emotion running high. What was most impressive was how he approached each and every at-bat."
Brad Mills (1-1) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings to earn his second big league win. The first was on June 28, 2010, against Baltimore.
Jon Rauch gave up a two-out RBI double to Nick Markakis in the ninth but retired Adam Jones on a popup for his 11th save in 16 tries.
Despite getting a homer from Jones, the Orioles lost for the eighth time in 11 games. Baltimore is 3-7 against Toronto this season and 6-22 versus the Jays since the start of the 2010 season.
Making his first start for Baltimore since being acquired Saturday in a trade with Texas, right-hander Tommy Hunter (1-2) gave up four runs and eight hits in four innings. He yielded at least one hit in every inning and was lifted after using 78 pitches to get 12 outs.
"I didn't get ahead, I didn't finish when I got ahead and when I got behind, I gave up hits," Hunter said. "There's really no excuses for it. When they go out and give you two early runs like that, you've got to go out and get a couple goose eggs up there, and I didn't do that tonight."
The Orioles went up 2-0 in the first when Markakis beat out a grounder and Jones drove a 2-2 pitch into the seats in left. It was his 19th home run, tying a career-high.
Toronto pulled even in the second. Singles by Edwin Encarnacion and Aaron Hill preceded Lawrie's RBI single, a liner up the middle. Yunel Escobar doubled in a run before Hunter retired Eric Thames on a hard-hit comebacker.
The hits kept coming in the Blue Jays third. Jose Bautista singled and Encarnacion was hit by a pitch before Rasmus delivered an RBI single and Hill followed with a run-scoring grounder.
Mills was cruising until the sixth, when he issued two straight one-out walks. The runners moved up on a passed ball, and a run scored when Lawrie couldn't handle Matt Wieters' hot smash to third. The single chased Mills, and Perez retired Nolan Reimold and Josh Bell to keep it at 4-3.
Hill hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth before the Orioles cut down two straight runners at the plate.