“We ran into a good team and came up short,” Flaherty said.
Johnson (1-2) was winless in his first seven starts with Toronto, receiving just 13 total runs of support and losing twice. That changed Sunday, as the Blue Jays helped the right-hander with an early offensive barrage, scoring nine times in the first three innings.
Johnson allowed four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, walked one and struck out five. He’s 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts since missing 31 games with a right triceps injury, and has struck out 25 batters in his past 25 1-3 innings.
“It’s not an easy lineup to face regardless of the score,” Gibbons said. “That’s another good outing for him. That’s one win. Getting on the board so you’ve got something to show for it always makes you feel good.”
Aaron Loup, Juan Perez and Dustin McGowan each worked one inning.
Flaherty hit a two-run shot off Johnson in the seventh and a solo homer off McGowan in the ninth for his first career multihomer game. He has five home runs this season.
With first base open, the Blue Jays intentionally walked Orioles slugger Chris Davis to load the bases for Matt Wieters in the first, but Johnson got Wieters to foul out.
“Every time you turn on the highlights he’s doing some damage somewhere,” Gibbons said of Davis. “We’ve seen plenty of that. That’s key, getting out of that first inning without any runs.”
Arencibia was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom half to drive in the game’s first run.
The Blue Jays used small ball and the long ball to score three more in the second. Emilio Bonifacio led off with a bunt single over the head of Baltimore starter Freddy Garcia, stole second and went to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice fly. Jose Bautista walked and Encarnacion followed with a first-pitch homer to left.