Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dickey Excels but Blue Jays Bats Silent in Season-Ending Loss to Baltimore

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dickey Excels but Blue Jays Bats Silent in Season-Ending Loss to Baltimore

Article excerpt

Blue Jays bats silent in season-ending loss

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TORONTO - Blue Jays bats finished the season on a silent note Sunday as the playoff-bound Baltimore Orioles defeated Toronto 1-0 on the strength of a Jonathan Schoop home run.

Miguel Gonzalez (10-9) and five other pitchers blanked Toronto on six hits as Baltimore (96-66) heads into the post-season on a winning note. The Orioles, who will face the Detroit Tigers next, had lost their last three and six of their last nine.

Schoop's fifth-inning homer, off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, was his 16th of the season.

Toronto (83-79) had won the first two games of the series and came into Sunday having won six of its last eight.

The Jays end the year having held their opponents to three earned runs or less in eight of their last 10 games. But the Toronto offence fizzled in the finale.

The 2014 campaign marked Toronto's most wins since the Jays went 85-77 in 2010. Toronto finished 74-88 last season.

"We're all disappointed in the way it ended up, but there's some guys out there that had good years," said Jays manager John Gibbons. "We played some good ball along the way, we just didn't play good enough."

Dickey (14-13) hadn't lost in his seven previous starts, going 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA over that span. Sunday marked the 19th time he has pitched at least six innings while holding opponents to two earned runs or less, including eight of his last 10 starts.

The 39-year-old knuckleballer deserved better Sunday.

"I felt like I pitched well enough to win," he said. "It certainly has won enough in the past. You can't always control the win and loss column and so for a pitcher, sometimes you evaluate yourself on different metrics.

"For me, giving up two hits to that lineup, I'm satisfied. Now I made a mistake to Schoop and he was the difference in the game today. Outside of that one pitch, I felt like I did pretty good managing a lineup that's probably going to be their lineup the first day that they play in the playoffs.

"They're a good team, a really good team. They won the division for a reason. And to have a performance like that at the end of the year, when it's very easy to cash it in, I was happy I was able to fight through that."

The game was played before a sellout crowd of 45,901 with the roof open under sunshine, with a 20-degree day making the winter headgear giveaway far from needed.

It was the Jays' 13th sellout of the season, lifting total attendance for the year to 2,375,525. That's down from last year's 2,536,562, which ranked 14th in the majors.

Toronto outhit Baltimore six to five and got the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth when Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single off Baltimore closer Zach Britton. But pinch-hitter Danny Valencia lined out to Steve Pearce, who doubled up pinch runner Juan Francisco off first after his acrobatic catch. …

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