BALTIMORE (AP) — Ricky Romero and the Toronto Blue Jays worked in unison to end long losing streaks.
J.P. Arencibia broke open a tight game with a seventh-inning grand slam, and the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-5 Monday night for a doubleheader split.
After the Orioles won the opener 4-1, Edwin Encarnacion hit his 41st homer to help Toronto snap a seven-game skid.
Romero (9-14) allowed four runs, eight hits, four walks and a homer in five-plus innings. It wasn't his finest outing, but a strong performance by the Toronto bullpen enabled the left-hander to halt a 13-game losing streak over 15 starts since June 22.
"Good for him and good for us," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We needed a win, and it's been a long time since Ricky's had a W."
Three months seemed like three years for Romero.
"I am glad it's out of the way and we can get ready for the next start," he said. "It wasn't so much the wins and losses, but the way I pitched all year — which hasn't been good. I've never backed down and I have taken the hits. When I sit back and think about all that has happened, I think I will be stronger for it."
The Orioles fell behind 4-0 in the nightcap and missed several bases-loaded chances to take the lead before Arencibia connected off Jake Arrieta to give Toronto a 9-4 cushion. Arencibia, who came into the game mired in a 2-for-36 slump, finished with three hits and five RBIs.
Encarnacion put the Blue Jays up 2-0 against Wei-Yin Chen (12-10) with a two-run drive in the first inning. In the second, Arencibia hit a sacrifice fly and Anthony Gose added an RBI single.
Robert Andino singled home two runs in the bottom half, but Baltimore left the bases loaded. Nate McLouth hit an opposite-field drive to left in the fifth to get Baltimore to 4-3, but the Orioles again left the bases full.
After Moises Sierra homered for Toronto in the sixth, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in their half, bringing many in the crowd of 31,015 to their feet. Brad Lincoln replaced Romero and gave up a first-pitch RBI single to J.J. Hardy before striking out Adam Jones. Chris Davis followed with a fly ball to Gose in left field, and Taylor Teagarden was thrown out at the plate after tagging up.
Baltimore also loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but scored only once on a double-play grounder.