Jose Bautista came up with the perfect response to Darren O’Day’s taunting: a tiebreaking home run.
Bautista hit a two-run shot in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays won their 10th straight game Saturday, beating the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.
Maicer Izturis hit a solo homer in the fifth for Toronto, on its longest winning streak since a 10-game run late in 2008. The Blue Jays, who are 14-4 this month, are one victory from matching the franchise record. Toronto had 11-game winning streaks in 1987 and 1998.
“It’s been a great run and hopefully we can continue,” Bautista said.
The Blue Jays (37-36) are above .500 for the first time since last July 29, when they were 51-50.
Bautista traded angry words with O’Day after striking out to end the seventh inning Friday, stranding a runner at second base.
On Saturday, the Blue Jays slugger renewed the argument, yelling at O’Day while rounding the bases after his pivotal home run.
“I told him just to keep talking like he was yesterday because he kind of ran his mouth a little bit after he struck me out,” Bautista said. “I don’t know where that came from but I didn’t appreciate it. I let him know that yesterday and that’s a little reminder today.”
O’Day declined to talk about his spat with Bautista, while Orioles manager Buck Showalter chalked it up to a clash of competitive personalities.
“Darren is a competitor, he likes to compete in those situations,” Showalter said. “Sometimes he wins, sometimes Bautista wins. You’ve got two great, talented athletes competing out there and they both take it personally.”
The Blue Jays led 2-1 heading into the eighth but Taylor Teagarden tied it with a homer off reliever Darren Oliver (3-1).
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (5-3) left after Munenori Kawasaki hit a one-out single in the bottom half. O’Day came on and got Rajai Davis to ground into a fielder’s choice, but Bautista followed with a two-out homer just inside the left-field foul pole on a 3-2 pitch.
YANKEES 7, RAYS 5: Vernon Wells broke out of his big slump with a pinch-hit, three-run double, and New York rallied to beat Tampa Bay.
Wells was in a 9-for-87 slide that landed him on the bench the past two days, with rookie outfielder Zoilo Almonte starting in his place. But with the Yankees trailing 5-4 in the seventh inning, Wells batted for No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart with the bases loaded and two outs.
Wells’ clutch hit got CC Sabathia (8-5) off the hook after he allowed five runs in seven innings. Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth for his 26th save.
WHITE SOX 3, ROYALS 2: Alejandro De Aza drove in Jordan Danks with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, sending Chicago to a victory over Kansas City.
Jesse Crain (2-1) got through a shaky eighth inning for the White Sox, putting a runner on third with one out and then leaving him there. Addison Reed handled a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Aaron Crow (3-3) was the loser.
Crain extended his club record with his 29th consecutive scoreless appearance.
TIGERS 10, RED SOX 3: Max Scherzer won his 11th straight decision to start the season and Victor Martinez hit a first-inning grand slam to lead Detroit to a victory over Boston.
Scherzer (11-0) allowed two runs in the first, including a towering solo homer by David Ortiz, but Martinez’s drive put the Tigers ahead to stay.
Martinez also hit an RBI double in the fifth, and Scherzer shut down Boston after the first. He allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.
Allen Webster (0-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.
Scherzer became the first pitcher to start 11-0 since Roger Clemens in 1997, according to STATS.
INDIANS 8, TWINS 7: Michael Bourn had three hits and three RBIs to help Corey Kluber win his third consecutive start as Cleveland beat Minnesota for its fourth straight win.
Cleveland took advantage of five first-inning walks to score six runs. Jason Kipnis added three hits to pace the Indians, who are 8-2 since losing eight in a row.
Kluber (6-4) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs in 21 2-3 innings in his last three starts.
Minnesota starter P.J. Walters (2-3) walked five of the nine batters he faced, hit one and didn’t get through the first inning when Cleveland had only two hits.
RANGERS 4, CARDINALS 2: Nelson Cruz got the decisive hit for the second straight game with a two-run homer in the third inning and Martin Perez prevailed in a matchup of rookie starters as Texas beat St. Louis.
Shelby Miller (8-5) allowed two homers for the second time in three starts and didn’t make it out of the sixth against the team the Cardinals beat in the 2011 World Series making its first regular-season visit to Busch Stadium.
A.J. Pierzynski also hit a two-run homer for Texas, which goes for a three-game sweep on Sunday night with Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4.84) facing Adam Wainwright (10-4, 2.37). The first two games have been sellouts and the finale was supposed to be a matchup of aces, but the Rangers are saving Yu Darvish for the Yankees Tuesday in New York.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, REDS 3: Jason Kubel hit a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally Arizona past Aroldis Chapman and Cincinnati for its fourth straight victory.
Jay Bruce’s second home run of the game gave the Reds a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth.
Paul Goldschmidt singled past Joey Votto at first base leading off the bottom half before Chapman (3-3) issued consecutive walks to Miguel Montero and Cody Ross. With the infield drawn in, Kubel singled over second base for his third career game-ending hit.
Brad Ziegler (4-1) replaced Heath Bell after Bruce’s home run and earned the win.
DODGERS 6, PADRES 1: Zack Greinke allowed one run over eight sharp innings, Adrian Gonzalez ended a wild Edinson Volquez’s no-hit bid with a homer in the sixth and Los Angeles beat San Diego.
In his first game in San Diego since breaking his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin, Greinke had a season-high eight strikeouts. He allowed four hits and only pitched to two batters over the minimum through seven innings in his longest outing of the season.
Hanley Ramirez homered into the third deck in left field and the Dodgers capitalized on several Padres miscues to snap a three-game losing streak.
Volquez did not allow a hit until Gonzalez, the former Padres first baseman, led off the sixth with his ninth home run. But the Padres’ right-hander allowed a run in the fifth on three walks and a fielder’s choice by Skip Schumaker.
ROCKIES 7, NATIONALS 1: Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven shutout innings and hit an RBI single, and Colorado snapped its five-game losing streak by beating Washington.
DJ LeMahieu hit his first home run and Michael Cuddyer’s RBI single in the first extended his hitting streak to 20 games, the longest active streak in the majors and tied for the longest this season. Nolan Arenado also went deep for Colorado.
Chacin (6-3) held Washington to five hits with one walk and three strikeouts to win his third straight start.
Dan Haren (4-9) allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Making his major league debut, Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson doubled in his first two at-bats and drove in a run during a three-run first inning.
Ryan Zimmerman’s ninth-inning homer prevented Washington from being shut out for the ninth time this season.
Cuddyer has reached base safely in 39 straight games, breaking the Rockies record set by Matt Holliday in 2007.
GIANTS 2, MARLINS 1: Hector Sanchez singled home the winning run in the 11th inning and San Francisco snapped a nine-game home losing streak to Miami.
Giants right fielder Hunter Pence made a diving catch to rob Placido Polanco of a likely go-ahead single to end the 11th. The Giants beat the Marlins at home for the first time since July 28, 2010.
Barry Zito pitched seven strong innings with a heavy heart three days after his father’s death. He allowed only Ed Lucas’ first career home run in the first.
Mike Dunn (2-2) allowed Gregor Blanco’s infield single to start the 11th, and Ryan Webb gave up Buster Posey’s infield single. Pence was intentionally walked and Sanchez singled to left for his third game-ending hit.
Blanco hit a tying double in the fifth for the Giants. Sandy Rosario (2-0) got the win.
PHILLIES 8, METS 7: Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen homered leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Philadelphia over New York after the Mets wiped out a six-run deficit.
Helped by some shaky Phillies defense, New York scored two runs in the top of the ninth off closer Jonathon Papelbon (2-0) to tie it.
Ryan Howard homered twice and drove in four runs. Michael Young also homered for Philadelphia, which led 7-1 through six innings.
Jordany Valdespin homered in the ninth off Papelbon, who has blown three of his last four save chances after converting his first 13 this season.
Frandsen hit a long home run on the second pitch from Carlos Torres (0-1).
Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone allowed one run in six innings before leaving with a back injury.
BREWERS 2, BRAVES 0: Francisco Rodriguez earned his 300th career save, finishing off Milwaukee’s second straight 2-0 victory over slumping Atlanta.
Donovan Hand, making his first big league start, allowed two hits in 4 2-3 innings for the Brewers. He struck out three in helping to extend Atlanta’s scoreless streak to 24 innings.
Burke Badenhop (1-3) got Chris Johnson on a grounder to end the fifth.
Milwaukee has beaten the Braves eight straight times at Miller Park, outscoring them 31-9.
Tim Hudson (4-7) lost his sixth consecutive decision despite giving up only two runs hits in six innings. He allowed RBI singles to Juan Francisco and Aramis Ramirez.
The Braves have scored 10 runs in Hudson’s last nine starts. He has not won any of them.
ASTROS 4, CUBS 3: Ronny Cedeno’s squeeze bunt scored Justin Maxwell with the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning to lead Houston over Chicago.
J.D. Martinez tied the game with a three-run homer in the sixth for the Astros.
Jose Cisnero (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Jose Veras earned his 15th save in 18 chances.
Maxwell hit a leadoff double in the ninth against Kevin Gregg (2-1) and moved to third on Matt Dominguez’s sacrifice. Cedeno followed with another sacrifice bunt, putting the Astros ahead.
Nate Schierholtz hit his career-high 10th homer for the Cubs and Luis Valbuena had a two-run single.