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Gonzalez injured, Orioles beat Blue Jays

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TORONTO (AP)

Miguel Gonzalez set a career high in victories Sunday, even though he had to watch the final few innings from the trainer's room.

Gonzalez pitched 5 1-3 innings before leaving with a strained right groin, Danny Valencia hit a two-run double and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1.

The Orioles closed within 2 1/2 games of Tampa Bay and Texas for the AL wild-card spots.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and trainer Richie Bancells came to the mound after Gonzalez (10-7) struck out Adam Lind looking to begin the sixth.

After a brief conversation, Gonzalez walked off and was replaced by rookie Kevin Gausman.

''We'll have a better idea tomorrow or the next day about the amount of soreness,'' Showalter said. ''Richie thinks it's a Grade 1 (strain), which is the least of them. But I would say he's in jeopardy of missing a start.''

Gonzalez came in 0-2 with a 7.48 ERA in his last four road starts. He was sharp against Toronto, allowing one run and six hits. He walked none and struck out three.

Gonzalez, who said he hoped not to miss a start, explained that he hurt himself in the at-bat against Lind after trying to ramp up his velocity, something he often does in the later innings.

''I was trying to do a little bit more than I was earlier in the game,'' Gonzalez said. ''Fifth, sixth inning, that's when I try to turn it on a little bit more and just finish strong.''

Valencia has six RBIs in four games, one more run than he drove in during all of August.

''I'm happy for him,'' Gonzalez said. ''He's red hot.''

The Orioles won their first road series since taking two of three at San Francisco on Aug. 9-11. It was their first road series win against an AL opponent since winning two of three at Boston in early April.

Baltimore came in batting .221 with runners in scoring position in the past 21 games, and went just 1 for 8 against Toronto. But the hit was a big one: Valencia's two-out double in the third off left-hander Mark Buehrle, which scored Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.

Valencia said he was determined to make amends after grounding out to end the first, stranding runners at first and second.

''Anytime you get a hit with runners in scoring position it's huge, especially with two outs,'' Valencia said. ''My at-bat before that, I left two on in the same situation, so it was nice to come through and get those runs.''

Showalter said he's been impressed with Valencia's attitude as well as with his play.

''He's gotten some big hits,'' Showalter said. ''Danny is really engaged in the competition. He's not trying to create a mark for himself for next year or whatever. Danny is engaged in the winning and he wants to be a part of something here. Those are the things you remember in the offseason as much as what he's done with the bat.''

Baltimore slugger Chris Davis, who hit his 50th home run of the season Friday, went 0 for 3 and struck out twice. He also drew a bases-loaded walk.

Adam Lind hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of six. Toronto lost for the 31st time this season when scoring first.

After replacing Gonzalez, Gausman gave up a single to Moises Sierra and walked Rajai Davis before fanning Ryan Goins and J.P. Arencibia to end the sixth.

Brett Lawrie hit a two-out single off Francisco Rodriguez in the seventh and Edwin Encarnacion followed with a double, snapping an 0-for-18 slump. Lind was walked intentionally to load the bases before Tommy Hunter came on and struck out Sierra.

Hunter worked the eighth and Jim Johnson finished for his 45th save in 54 chances.

Lind opened the scoring with a leadoff shot into the second deck in the second, his 21st homer. Baltimore answered in the third on Valencia's key double.

An error, a double and a walk helped the Orioles load the bases in the fourth before Davis drew a two-out walk to force in a run.

Buehrle (11-9) allowed three runs in five innings.

''It was a battle for him today,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''He kept the game in check without his best stuff.''

NOTES: Baltimore OF Nate McLouth was replaced by pinch-runner Chris Dickerson after being hit by a pitch on the right knee to begin the ninth. ... Toronto OF Colby Rasmus, who homered both Friday and Saturday, was scratched from the lineup after complaining of general soreness. Rasmus, who was activated off the 15-day DL before Friday's game, was replaced by Davis. ... Orioles RHP Bud Norris, who was scratched from Friday's start with a sore forearm, played catch before the game and is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen Tuesday. ''I can't tell you he didn't feel anything today but it's much improved from where he was,'' Showalter said. ''Tuesday will tell where he fits in.''

... The Orioles and Blue Jays are both off Monday. Baltimore begins a three-game series at Boston on Tuesday, while Toronto welcomes the New York Yankees for three.

Tagged: Blue Jays, Rajai Davis, Adam Lind, Chris Davis, Miguel Gonzalez, Danny Valencia, Orioles, Mark Buehrle, Adam Jones

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