The Jim Johnson questions will begin again. It was obvious that Johnson didn’t have his best stuff, but he got within a strike of escaping.
Instead, Toronto’s Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run double that capped a four-run ninth inning in the Orioles’ 6-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday at Rogers Centre.
Matt Wieters’ two-run double in the top of the ninth gave the Orioles a 5-2 lead, but Johnson allowed four runs on four hits and walked a batter.
Johnson (2-5) had blown three straight saves, but after a 10th inning win against the Yankees and a save on Saturday, everything looked fine.
He threw 37 pitches, making his availability against the Nationals on Monday unlikely.
The Orioles (27-23) and Blue Jays (21-29) split four games. Entering the ninth, it looked as if the Orioles would win the series 3-1.
Lots of scoring opportunities were missed. The Orioles were just 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base in the first eight innings.
The Orioles scored two runs off starter Chad Jenkins in the second on an RBI double by Wieters, who had four hits and an uncontested stolen base, just the fifth of his career.
Adam Jones had his fourth home run in as many games this series. He has 10 this season. Jones had three hits. Manny Machado and Nick Markakis each had two.
Steve Delabar (4-1) got the win for Toronto.
Miguel Gonzalez started and worked 5 2/3, allowing a run on four hits. He struck out seven and walked three, throwing 107 pitches.
Brian Matusz pitched an inning of hitless ball. Tommy Hunter allowed an eighth-inning run, and then Johnson gave up an RBI single to J.P. Arencibia to make it 5-3. An infield out cut the lead to 5-4.
On a 3-2 count, Kawasaki, who had three hits and three RBIs, laced the double to left-center, and Johnson trudged off the field with his four blown save and fifth loss of the season.