O's WC hopes take hit with fifth straight loss

O's WC hopes take hit with fifth straight loss

TORONTO -- The Orioles dropped their fifth consecutive game Monday night at Rogers Centre, a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays as their path to the postseason continues to grow more difficult.

With the loss, the O's are 3 1/2 games behind the Twins, who hold the second American League Wild Card spot.

"It's frustrating," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You're always trying to get in between the sense of urgency and let the game come to you a little bit. We're [all] a person, and that's normal human tendency. You can't tell them not to care and not to try harder. It's just what they do. They don't need to be reminded by people every day, they know what's going on."

Barney swims into third on awkward slide

Marco Estrada had Baltimore off-balance over five innings as he allowed two runs on four hits. The right-hander struck out seven (six of them looking) without issuing a walk. Toronto's bullpen handled the rest, capped off by Dominic Leone, who recorded his first Major League save with a scoreless ninth.

Leone's first career save

"For the most part, we were able to locate down and away," Estrada said. "I did miss on one to [Mark Trumbo, who hit a homer]. I was trying to get it in and kind of left it middle in and elevated. But other than that, the hits I gave up weren't too bad, they were on decent pitches. I'm happy with everything."

Estrada's seven strikeouts

Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez returned to the rotation after a brief bullpen stint and kept his team in it over five innings and 102 pitches. Jimenez allowed three runs on six hits and struck out five while walking two.

"My splitter was good, and the two-seam fastball was good," Jimenez said. "I was able to keep it down and away, trying to get the hitters to hit ground balls. But the splitter was the best."

Jimenez escapes a jam

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Barney's successful stumble: Darwin Barney drove a double into the right-center-field gap in the second, but when the ball was bobbled in the outfield, Barney turned second and raced toward third. His momentum got the best of him, however, and his stumble halfway between the bases turned into an all-too-early slide. It took some frantic crawling before he could reach out and touch the base, but Barney made it work.

Barney's unusual slide

"It wasn't a slide," Barney said. "I was just trying to stop myself, I guess. The fans looked a little bored. I got them on their feet right there."

Teoscar's mad scramble: Teoscar Hernandez nearly followed his two-homer Sunday with an inside-the-park home run in the second after his looper into right field bounced over the head of Trumbo. As Trumbo chased the ball toward the wall in foul territory, he bobbled it into the stands and Hernandez was held at third base. Hernandez then scored on a Ryan Goins groundout before Barney doubled and scored on Richard Urena's double.

Hernandez's unconventional hit

Goins goes yard: Goins turned on his seventh home run of the season, building on a career high, to give the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead in the fourth. It was a no-doubter off the bat, too, leaving with an exit velocity of 103.8 mph and traveling 412 feet, according to Statcast™. Goins also extended his career high for RBIs with 53.

QUOTABLE
"He's Wally Pipp'ing [Josh Donaldson]. He's on a roll. Obviously, he's swinging the bat really well and his defense has been really good, too." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on Barney, who picked up four hits Sunday and two more Monday

Barney's RBI infield single

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Estrada set a new career high for strikeouts in a season with 166. His previous high was 165 last season.

CASTILLO EXITS EARLY
Baltimore catcher Welington Castillo exited after one inning with a contusion. Castillo was struck in the groin area by a Miguel Montero foul ball after it bounced in the dirt, but finished the bottom of the first before being replaced by Caleb Joseph.

Castillo gets shaken up

"The doctor on duty looked at it and they decided to get some tests," Showalter said. More >

Joseph's smash up middle avoids Koehler's legs

WHAT'S NEXT
Orioles: Right-hander Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.12 ERA) makes his 27th start Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Bundy pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts Aug. 29 against the Mariners, but came back to earth Sept. 4 against the Yankees by allowing five runs over four innings.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Joe Biagini (3-10, 5.29), who will take the mound Tuesday, faced Baltimore earlier this month and enjoyed arguably the best start of his career. He struck out a career-high 10 and did not allow a run over seven innings.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.