BALTIMORE — There's something about American League East opponents that brings out the best in Miguel Gonzalez.
The Baltimore right-hander scattered three singles and allowed just one unearned run while pitching into the eighth inning, and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 on Wednesday night.
"He doesn't have just one way to get you out," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez. "If one thing doesn't work, he's going to go to something else. He's going to go into the cupboard for something more."
Alejandro De Aza reached base four times for the Orioles on a single, double, hit by pitch and a walk. Rookie Rey Navarro got his first career home run with a solo shot to lead off the eighth.
Gonzalez (4-2) struck out five and walked two in 7 2/3 innings to improve to 7-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 12 career starts against Toronto. The Blue Jays' only run came on a passed ball in the eighth. Gonzalez also improved to 20-11 against AL East opponents, which could bode well as the Orioles try to defend their division title.
"It's a good league, and we know that," Gonzalez said. "We've been doing a good job overall, and just pitching against the AL East is not easy. You've just got to stay focused and keep doing what you're doing."
The Orioles, who won for just the third time in nine games, held Toronto without an extra-base hit for the first time this season.
Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez struggled early, walking his first two batters in the second. After a bunt by David Lough moved them over, Caleb Joseph followed with a two-run double down the left-field line. Manny Machado and De Aza added two more doubles, extending the lead to 4-0. De Aza went to third on a wild pitch and Jimmy Paredes got an infield single for the Orioles' fifth run.
Sanchez (3-3) gave up a season-high five runs on seven hits with four walks and a strikeout over 5 2-3 innings.
"The game plan after giving up five runs was just to keep them right there," Sanchez said. "For the remainder of the time I was out there, I thought I did a good job."
One night after committing three errors, the Orioles came up with several defensive gems, including a running catch by De Aza in right and a leaping grab by the second baseman Navarro in the fourth.
That was all the support Gonzalez would need. After a single by Devon Travis in the third, Gonzalez retired 14 straight. A walk to Kevin Pillar in the eighth ended that streak. Pillar later scored on a passed ball by Joseph.
"He's always tough on us," Toronto manager John Gibbons said about Gonzalez. "He's a pitcher. He's got a good, quick arm. He moves the ball around. He's always been tough on us."
Navarro provided more separation in the eighth with his homer after being called up Tuesday from Triple-A Norfolk.
"I just feel like it was something out of this world," Navarro said. "That's the dream coming true. Playing in the big leagues and then you hit your first career home run. It was great."
Baltimore right-hander Darren O'Day got the final four outs for his first save.
Machado had a double in the second inning, tying a career high by reaching base in 19 consecutive games. Paredes also extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games
Blue Jays: SS Jose Reyes (injured left rib) took batting practice from both sides of the plate for the first time Wednesday.
Orioles: RHP Jason Garcia (right shoulder tendinitis) was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, and RHP Mike Wright was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Blue Jays: Righty Drew Hutchison (3-0) opens the four-game series Thursday at Houston, putting his perfect record on the line against Astros right-hander Roberto Hernandez (1-3).
Orioles: Baltimore opens its third series outside the AL East on Friday. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (1-1) faces Angels righty Jered Weaver (1-4).