BALTIMORE — J.P. Arencibia broke open a tight game with a seventh-inning grand slam, and the Blue Jays beat Baltimore 9-5 Monday night to earn a doubleheader split and drop the Orioles 11/2 games out of first place in the American League East.
In the opener, Adam Jones went 4-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs to lead Baltimore to a 4-1 victory. But the Orioles lost a half-game in the standings Monday to the Yankees, who won 6-3 at Minnesota.
The Orioles fell behind 4-0 in the nightcap and missed several bases-loaded chances to take the lead before Arencibia connected off Jake Arrieta to give Toronto a 9-4 lead.
Juan Encarnacion hit his 41st home run for the Blue Jays, who snapped a seven-game skid. Arencibia, who went into the game mired in a 2 for 36 slump, finished with three hits and five RBIs.
Ricky Romero allowed four runs, eight hits, four walks and a homer in five-plus innings. But a strong performance by the Toronto bullpen enabled the left-hander to end a 13-game losing streak over 15 starts since June 22.
Encarnacion put the Blue Jays up 2-0 against Wei-Yin Chen with a two-run drive in the first inning.
In the opener, Jones' four hits tied a career high. He already had reached a career high in homers (32), and his two runs scored put him over 100 for the first time.
Orioles rookie Steve Johnson allowed three hits over five shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.62. Half his big-league wins have come against Toronto.
Jim Johnson, the fifth Baltimore pitcher, worked the ninth for his 48th save in 51 opportunities.
Ryan Flaherty hit a solo shot for the Orioles.
The seventh straight loss for the Blue Jays matched a season high. Toronto was outscored 46-17 during the skid, which began during a three-game trip to Yankee Stadium and continued at Tropicana Field against the Rays.
Henderson Alvarez gave up four runs, eight hits and three walks in 52/3 innings. He is 2-7 in his past 10 starts.
Johnson allowed two runners to reach in three of the first four innings but escaped damage on each occasion. In the bottom of the fourth, Chris Davis walked, and Jones followed with a drive to left to put Baltimore up 2-0.
Flaherty connected in the fifth, and Jones singled in the sixth and came home on a double-play grounder.
Toronto scored in the eighth on an RBI double by Rajai Davis.