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Jays sweep Orioles

Jays sweep Orioles
Canadian Scott Richmond is providing a much-needed measure of stability in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation behind ace Roy Halladay.

The native of North Vancouver, B.C., threw seven strong innings and was backed by home runs from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios in a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles yesterday afternoon.

Rios hit the game-winner in the fifth inning, his second of the season, sending the Blue Jays (18-9) to a three-game sweep of the Orioles (9-16), who have lost six in a row and nine of their past 11.

"He's stepped it up,'' Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas said of Richmond. "He was battling for a No. 5 job coming out of spring training. Every single time he goes out there now he improves.

"He's not satisfied with being that No. 5 guy. Right now he's our No. 2 guy, not because everybody is hurt, but because that's how he's pitching.''

Richmond (4-0) allowed three runs, two earned, five hits and two walks while striking out six and has yet to allow more than three runs in his 10 major-league starts.

His strong work, coming with Jesse Litsch and Ricky Romero on the disabled list while others in the rotation have been inconsistent, has been invaluable.

"Pleasantly surprised is a great way to put it,'' Richmond said of his success. "From a rough spring to a young rotation . . . I'm happy to be contributing.

"I'm happy I'm pitching well. I'm so focused out there.''

Richmond's earned-run average dropped to 2.67 and he made few mistakes after surrendering Luke Scott's two-run shot in the second that tied the game 2-2.

Jesse Carlson took over from Richmond in the eighth inning and Scott Downs, who is the closer with B.J. Ryan on the disabled list, pitched the ninth for his third save.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 4, 2009

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