BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles botched their bunt defence, muffed an infield pop fly for an error, twice failed to get bunts down successfully and blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
Yet one swing of rookie Ryan Adams' bat erased their many miscues.
Adams capped a two-run, 10th-inning rally with an RBI single and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Tuesday night.
"It wasn't looking good there for a minute, but we battled back," said Adams.
Matt Wieters led off the Baltimore 10th by drawing a walk off Brian Tallet (0-2), who was trying for his first career save. Mark Reynolds walked and, after Robert Andino bunted a foul third strike, pinch hitter Jake Fox hit a game-tying single to right with Reynolds taking third.
Adams followed with a deep fly ball off the warning track in right-centre beyond a drawn-in outfield.
"In that situation, I was just trying to get the ball in the air," Adams said. "They were playing (the outfield) in and I got a pitch up. Right away, I knew it was going to be deep enough to get him in."
The victory went to Willie Eyre (1-0), whose wild pitch in the top of the 10th had put the Blue Jays ahead 5-4. That was the last in a long like of mental and physical mistakes that failed to undo the resilient Orioles.
Andino's 10th-inning bunt attempt was the second time he was unable to advance runners, and some shoddy defence in the ninth contributed to a delayed — and undefended double steal — as Toronto tied the game on Yunel Escobar's sacrifice fly.
"I know exactly what should have happened and didn't happen and it won't happen again, especially considering the people," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter when asked about the wacky bunt play.
The Blue Jays were without manager John Farrell, who is being treated for pneumonia in Toronto and is expected to miss the three-game series. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu ran the team in Farrell's absence.
Toronto wanted to send Casey Janssen out for the 10th, but the right-hander came up with a tightness in a shoulder muscle, shelving him after a 13-pitch scoreless ninth.
"We're going to evaluate him, see where he's at," said Wakamatsu, adding that he didn't believe Janssen's injury was serious.
That put Tallet into an unfamiliar role.
"Yeah, it was a pretty (bad) result, huh?" Tallet said. "It's what happens when you don't throw strikes early in the game, early when you get in there and let those guys get on base. Anything can happen and that's what happened."
Wieters homered for Baltimore, which has won seven of nine.
The Blue Jays have lost five of six.
"You've got to take it as it comes and analyze it and you've just got to suck it up and move on to tomorrow," said Toronto's Brett Lawrie. "There's no sense in dwelling on it. You've got to come back tomorrow and keep playing."
Lawrie's sixth homer staked Toronto to a 3-0 lead in the second. After one-out walks to Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, the native of Langley, B.C, ripped a 1-2 curveball from Jeremy Guthrie into the left-field stands.
Wieters' two-run shot cut the lead to a run in the bottom of the inning. Vladimir Guerrero led off with a single and Wieters homered to centre off Brett Cecil, his 15th.
Cecil's throwing error in the fourth allowed Baltimore to tie the game at 3. Andino doubled with two down and came around on an infield single by Nolan Reimold after Cecil threw wildly past first base.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with none down in the fifth, but squandered the opportunity. Encarnacion bounced into a 1-2-3 double play and Johnson flied out to centre.
"There were several different opportunities to score, to do some things and the bottom line is we put ourselves in a position," Wakamatsu said. "We talked about not giving up and going to the end."
Guerrero's RBI double in the bottom of the fifth put the Orioles ahead, scoring Adam Jones, who had drawn a one-out walk.
Cecil yielded four runs on eight hits over six innings, walking two and striking out four. Guthrie allowed three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out five.
Trying to protect a 4-3 lead in the ninth, Baltimore's Kevin Gregg instead blew his fifth save in 24 chances. J.P. Arencibia led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Dewayne Wise. Mike McCoy walked on four pitches and, when the Orioles flubbed their wheel-play defence on Escobar's bunt attempt, both runners moved up on an unconventional double steal, each benefiting from an unprotected base.
Escobar followed with a game-tying sacrifice fly to right.
NOTES: Baltimore snapped an eight-game losing streak in one-run games. ... Toronto reliever Jon Rauch completed a 25-pitch simulated game Tuesday afternoon and appears close to rejoining the active roster. Rauch, who underwent an appendectomy August 16, will be re-evaluated Wednesday but is likely to be activated off the disabled list Thursday, according to Wakamatsu. ... 1B Chris Davis, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, took 25 swings off a tee and participated in throwing drills at the Orioles complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday. ... Orioles RHP Jason Berken's wife Emily gave birth to a 5-lb., 12-oz. baby girl, Hadley Lane, on Tuesday afternoon. ... In 27 starts this season, Guthrie has yet to win consecutive decisions. ... Toronto right-hander Henderson Alvarez (0-2) faces Baltimore lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (7-10) on Wednesday.