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Orioles rookie Trey Mancini homers twice again in rout of Blue Jays

Orioles rookie Trey Mancini homers twice again in rout of Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Don't be surprised if all the Baltimore Orioles are soon swinging the same style of bat used by rookie Trey Mancini.

Mancini hit two home runs, Dylan Bundy pitched six shutout innings and the Orioles beat the struggling Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Sunday.

Mancini connected twice for the second time in three games. He also hit two homers in a win at Boston on Wednesday. In this one, he hit a three-run blast off Ryan Tepera in the sixth, then added a solo drive off Matt Dermody in the eighth.

Mancini, who finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs, matched the major league record for home runs in the first 12 games of a career with seven, joining Trevor Story and Dino Restelli. He hit three homers in five games last September.

"It's humbling to hear that, especially with how many legends have played the game," Mancini said. "To make your mark in any way is really neat."

Using bats borrowed from Mancini's locker -- he uses a Louisville Slugger C243 -- Manny Machado and Craig Gentry also homered for Baltimore. They each hit a two-run shot off Dermody as the Orioles piled on late against their slumping AL East foes.

"It was pretty fun and pretty cool that they both hit home runs," Mancini said. "I might need an extra shipment here soon."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was both amused and amazed at the productive bat-sharing.

"I have never seen that before," Showalter said. "I just went, `Really?'"

Toronto lost for the eighth time in nine games and dropped to 2-10 overall. The Blue Jays have scored 34 total runs, the fewest in the majors.

"We're all concerned," manager John Gibbons said. "We all expected to play better."

Toronto lost left-hander J.A. Happ (0-3) to a sore elbow in the fifth inning, another blow to a suddenly thin starting rotation.

"Last pitch of the fourth inning I felt kind of a pull, a tug in my elbow," Happ said. "Then I went back out there for the fifth and it got progressively worse."

Happ will undergo an MRI on Monday, an off day.

Before the game, the Blue Jays put right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his middle finger. Gibbons said Sanchez is scheduled to visit a hand specialist in Kansas City.

Gibbons and trainer George Poulis came to the mound when Happ appeared to be in pain after throwing a first-pitch fastball to Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. Following a brief conversation, Happ walked off the mound and into the clubhouse. He allowed one run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

After Happ left, Jones greeted reliever Joe Biagini with an RBI single.

Bundy (2-1) gave up five hits and struck out six. He is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays.

"Dylan was really good again," Showalter said. "He's so much more than a thrower."

Jones stayed in the game after crashing into the outfield wall in the eighth. He went down in pain after his right knee struck the scoreboard in right center on Justin Smoak's triple.

"It knocked the breath out of him more than anything," Showalter said.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Orioles right-hander Stefan Crichton made his major league debut in the seventh. He pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits.

SEARCHING FOR STARTERS

Gibbons said Biagini is unlikely to be stretched out as a starter while Happ and Sanchez are sidelined.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore put closer Zach Britton on the 10-day disabled list with a sore left forearm. He felt pain throwing a pitch in the ninth inning on Friday. Britton said there currently are no plans to undergo an MRI. "They don't think that's something I need to do right now," he said, "which is always a good sign."

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-0, 3.94) starts Tuesday's opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati, his first career start against the Reds.

Blue Jays: Following Monday's off day, RHP Marcus Stroman (1-1, 1.76) starts the opener of a three-game series against Boston on Tuesday. Stroman is 1-4 in seven career starts against the Red Sox.

MORE ORIOLES: Zach Britton placed on 10-day disabled list with forearm tightness

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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

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USA Today Sports

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.

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Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

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USA TODAY Sports

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

HOUSTON (AP) -- Home runs kept flying over the wall at Minute Maid Park, on line drives up toward the train tracks, on fly balls that just dropped over the fence.

Seven more were hit in Game 5, raising the total to a World Series record 22 -- with two possible more games to play. Twenty-five runs were scored in a game started by the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Astros' Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young Award winners regarded as among baseball's best.

After a season when sluggers outpaced even their steroid-era predecessors for home runs, some are convinced that something is amiss with the baseballs.

"The main complaint is that the balls seem a little bit different in the postseason, and even from the postseason to the World Series balls," Justin Verlander said Sunday, two days before he takes the mound in Game 6 and tries to pitch the Astros to their first title. "They're a little slick. You just deal with it. But I don't think it's the case of one pitcher saying, `Hey, something is different here.' I think as a whole, everybody is saying, `Whoa, something is a little off here.'"

A record eight home runs were hit in Game 2, including five in extra innings, and Game 5's seven long balls would have tied the old mark. The 13-12, 10-inning Astros' win Sunday night was the second-highest scoring game in Series history.

Keuchel was quoted as saying after Game 2: "Obviously, the balls are juiced."

Not so obvious to everyone, even amid the power surge.

"I haven't personally noticed anything. I haven't tried to think about it either," Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow said after giving up two homers in Game 5. "It's not something you want to put in your own head."

Same for Kershaw, even after giving up his record eighth homer of the postseason Sunday.

"I don't really pay attention to it," Kershaw said. "I just assume that both sides are dealing with it, so I'm not going to worry about it."

This year's long ball assault topped the 21 of the 2002 Series. Anaheim hit seven and Barry Bonds and his San Francisco Giants slugged 14 over seven games. That was the year before survey drug testing.

Speculation that something has changed includes a study claiming to have found differences in the size and seam height of balls since the 2015 All-Star break.

"I know there was talk about different sizes and some of the baseballs were slightly bigger and some were smaller. Some of the seams were higher, some of the seams were lower. But, no, it's been consistent," said Rich Hill, who will start Game 6 for the Dodgers. "I think that just has to do with conditions -- if it's colder it's going to be slicker. If it's a little bit warmer out or humid, I think you're going to find that you're going to have a little bit more of moisture to the baseballs."

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred insists nothing nefarious is going on.

"I'm absolutely confident that the balls that we're using are within our established specifications," he said Friday.

Verlander rejected that assertion.

"I know Mr. Manfred said the balls haven't changed, but I think there's enough information out there to say that's not true," he said.

Verlander also does not think it's an issue of how balls are rubbed up before games.

"I know baseball uses the same mud for every single ball for every single game that's played," he said. "I think there's a broader issue that we're all missing."

On the day he become commissioner in January 2015, Manfred said, "I'm cognizant in the drop in offense over the last five years, and it's become a topic of conversation in the game, and it's something that we're going to have to continue to monitor and study."

Offense started rebounding during the second half of the season, and a record 6,105 home runs were hit this year, 2.4 percent more than the previous mark of 5,963 set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era.

"I think it's pretty clear," Verlander said. "I think our commissioner has said publicly that they wanted more offense in the game. I'm pretty sure I'm not fabricating a quote here when I say that. I think it was already All-Star break of `15, or right before, when he said that."

San Francisco's Johnny Cueto and Toronto's Marcus Stroman also think the balls have changed, with Stroman blaming slick balls for a rise in pitcher blisters -- an affliction which has struck Hill a few times in the past couple seasons, too.

Houston's Brent Strom and the Dodgers' Rick Honeycutt, the World Series pitching coaches, both were quoted by Sports Illustrated on Sunday as saying the slickness of the ball made throwing sliders difficult.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't see a ton difference, but I'm not going to get in a verbal war with coaches and players who think otherwise."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a similar view but acknowledged the power records got his attention.

"The pitchers talk about it feels different in their hand. The one component is the slickness and guys at different ballparks rub it up differently," he said. "Sort of feels the same to me. But it's hard to argue the numbers. You know there's more velocity. Guys are swinging harder. I know in Los Angeles the air was light. It was hot. The ball was flying, carrying more than typically. But I hesitate to try to give you any insight because I really don't know."

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