Marcus Stroman paces Blue Jays to win in Baltimore

The Blue Jays figure it’s only a matter of time before their sluggers drive a whole lot of baseballs over the fence.

Until that happens, Toronto will be content to use shorter hits to win.

Marcus Stroman allowed three runs in seven innings, Troy Tulowitzki doubled in two runs and the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Jose Bautista had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won three straight to move over .500 (8-7) for the first time since April 5.

Toronto came in with only 14 homers, including just two apiece from Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. It was more of the same in this game, as the Blue Jays made the most of five singles and three doubles.

“We’re still waiting for our offence to erupt. But it will,” manager John Gibbons said.

Manny Machado and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, now 5-1 at home. Baltimore has lost four of five following a 7-0 start.

“You’re not going to shut down that offence,” Gibbons said. “Their offence is like ours. They’re clicking a little bit more than we are right now.”

But Stroman (3-0) worked his way around those two home runs to earn his eighth straight win dating to 2014. He gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one.

“One of the best lineups in all of baseball, up and down, 1 through 9,” the right-hander said of the Orioles. “You’ve really got to execute. I felt like I executed for the most part pretty well.”

Asked about his 3-0 start, Stroman said: “It’s huge for me, it’s huge for the team. I don’t think we’re playing anywhere near the capability that we can play at. We’re still just getting comfortable, getting our feet wet.”

Roberto Osuna got four straight outs for his fifth save.

Orioles starter Mike Wright (1-1) gave up three runs over six innings. Half of his six career losses have come against Toronto.

Baltimore played the last three innings without centre fielder Adam Jones, who left with a stomach virus, according to the team. He was sidelined earlier this month with soreness in his ribs.

“He was battling it a little bit right after batting practice,” manager Buck Showalter said.

The Blue Jays used a run-scoring grounder by Ryan Goins to go up 1-0 in the second inning.

With two outs in the third, Tulowitzki hit a liner to left that eluded a diving Joey Rickard for a two-run double. Tulowitzki, a key acquisition last year for the AL East champions, entered the game batting .140.

“Like everybody else, it’s just a matter of time,” Gibbons said. “He really hasn’t hit his stride but when he gets hits, they’re big ones.”

David Ginsberg, The Associated Press

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Dusty Fields

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