TORONTO (AP) -- With two weeks remaining in a disappointing season, the Baltimore Orioles are still playing hard. But rather than battling for a playoff spot, they're auditioning for jobs.
Scott Moore drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning, helping the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6 on Sunday."We had a chance to win the game and my job was to get that guy in," Moore said.Manager Dave Trembley has told his players that he's evaluating them now, and that spring training will be too late to make a positive impression."I know it's late in the year and a lot of people say these things are meaningless but for us it's important," Trembley said. "A lot of new guys are getting opportunities to play and the contributions they can make right now are going to determine the direction we're going to go in 2008."Baltimore's young players are getting the message."Even though it's late and it's been frustrating for some of the guys, they're all still taking care of their business the right way and going out and trying to win every game," Moore said.Jason Frasor (1-5), the eighth Toronto pitcher, gave up a single to Aubrey Huff to begin the 12th. Freddie Bynum's ground-rule double moved Huff to third, Paul Bako struck out and, with the infield in, Moore grounded an RBI single off the glove of first baseman Matt Stairs.Brian Roberts followed with a sacrifice fly."At this point in the season, you're trying to build on bright spots," Roberts said. "You're trying to put some things together to start playing better baseball toward the end, give your team and organization something to build toward next year."Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who won for just the sixth time in their past 25 games. Rob Bell (4-3) worked two innings for the win and Fernando Cabrera, Baltimore's seventh pitcher, closed it out for his first career save.In just his second full season, Markakis' homer gave him 100 RBIs for the first time."It's an awful big accomplishment for a guy who's still inexperienced," Trembley said. "Nick has really matured above and beyond what we could have hoped for."Baltimore won a series for the first time since Aug. 13-15, when the O's took two of three at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles had dropped eight straight series since."We showed a lot of patience late in the game, especially after stranding some guys," Trembley said.Toronto led 4-1 early, then rallied after falling behind 6-4 in the eighth, but still lost for the seventh time in 10 games."It was a game I thought we should have won," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.Melvin Mora led off the eighth with a single off Casey Janssen and was replaced by Bynum, who went to second on a grounder by Ramon Hernandez. Bynum got caught off second when Jay Payton grounded back to the mound, but Janssen's throw sailed into center field for an error, putting runners at the corners.Jeremy Accardo replaced Janssen and got Roberts to ground into a fielder's choice, with Bynum getting tagged out in a rundown. Roberts stole second before Tike Redman lined a two-run single to left.Toronto tied it at 6 after loading the bases with none out against Jamie Walker. Chad Bradford came on and gave up RBI grounders to Alex Rios and pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay.Baltimore opened the scoring in the second on Payton's RBI double, but Adam Lind and Russ Adams homered on consecutive pitches from Orioles right-hander Victor Santos to give Toronto a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. It's the sixth time this season Toronto has hit back-to-back home runs.Aaron Hill made it 4-1 with an RBI double in the third, but Baltimore closed the gap on Payton's sacrifice fly in the fourth and Markakis' homer in the fifth.The Orioles tied it at 4 in the seventh. Roberts doubled to start the inning against left-hander Joe Kennedy, who struck out Redman and got Markakis to fly out. Brandon League came on to face Miguel Tejada, who grounded a broken-bat single to left and snapped an 0-for-13 slump.Toronto loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Jim Hoey but couldn't score. Walker came on and got pinch-hitter Vernon Wells to pop out, then struck out Curtis Thigpen to end the inning."We let them off the hook there," Gibbons said.Thigpen is hitless in his past 22 at-bats. He went 0-for-4 and stranded five runners.Santos allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three-one intentional- and struck out two.Marcum gave up three runs on five hits in five innings and has not won in three starts. He walked two and struck out four.
The game lasted 4 hours, 25 minutes. ... Hill's double was his 42nd of the season and broke Roberto Alomar's team record, set in 1991. ... Mora returned to the lineup after missing the past three games with a sore back. ... Huff had reached safely in seven straight plate appearances before grounding out in the seventh.