TORONTO -- R.A. Dickey said the Toronto Blue Jays' latest loss was all on him.
"The loss can be solely hung around my neck for sure," the right-handed knuckleball pitcher said after Toronto fell 6-5 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. "If I pitch better we win the game."
J.J. Hardy and Danny Valencia each drove in two runs and Freddy Garcia (1-2) pitched five innings for the Orioles before a crowd of 35,915 at Rogers Centre.
Garcia allowed nine hits, including a home run by Emilio Bonifacio, and limited Toronto to three runs (two earned) to gain his first win in five starts this season.
It was the second win in a row for the Orioles (27-22) over the Blue Jays (20-29) and assured them of at least a split in the four-game series that ends today.
Hardy hit a two-run single in the first, Valencia hit a two-run homer in the third and Adam Jones hit a solo homer in the seventh against Dickey (4-6) who allowed nine hits and six runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The Blue Jays trailed 3-1 after one inning and 5-2 after three.
"Early in the game cost him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You look at some of the games that he's struggled, they put some runs up on the board early and then he finds his groove and it was the same way today.
"Of course, he gave up the solo home run late but, other than that, in the middle innings he was very good. We made a run at it, we just came up short."
Dickey has yet to find the form that won him the National League Cy Young Award in 2012 when he was with the New York Mets. Injuries, including back spasms, have hampered him and he cannot throw his knuckleball as hard as he did last year.
"I'm kind of just punching the clock right now," he said.
"I'm searching for it. I certainly haven't felt like I did last year. There are some concrete reasons and there some reasons that I can iron out in the bullpen between starts."
The roof was open on a sunny but chilly afternoon.
"It was not ideal conditions but it was okay," Dickey said. "I've pitched just fine in conditions similar to today so that's certainly not an excuse."
Jose Bautista and Adam Lind each had three hits for the Blue Jays, who had 13 hits on the day and have 30 hits over their past two games, both losses.
-- The Canadian Press