The Baltimore Orioles still find themselves in the thick of the cluttered American League wild-card race despite their four-game losing streak. Baltimore looks to end the slide when it continues its 10-game road trip Monday with the first of three contests against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles concluded their 6-4 homestand Thursday with a 9-1 loss to the New York Yankees and began their trek in disappointing fashion as they scored a total of four runs while being swept in a three-game set at Cleveland over the weekend. Baltimore fell one game under .500 with the setback and is three behind Minnesota for the AL’s second wild-card spot with three teams between them, Seattle even with the Orioles and Tampa Bay trailing the two clubs by one-half game. Jonathan Schoop went 8-for-21 with three multi-hit efforts during a four-game home series against Toronto from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and began gearing up for another strong performance versus the Blue Jays by recording three of Baltimore’s seven hits in its 3-2 loss on Sunday. Toronto trounced Detroit 8-2 on Sunday for its second straight win as the bottom-third of the lineup went a combined 8-for-12, with No. 7 hitter Teoscar Hernandez registering two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 6.80 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marco Estrada (7-8, 5.00)
Jimenez worked a scoreless inning of relief against the New York Yankees on Tuesday after getting pounded in each of his last three starts. The 33-year-old Dominican surrendered at least five runs for the third straight outing on Aug. 30, when he escaped with a no-decision after yielding six over 2 2/3 innings against Seattle. Jimenez improved to 8-5 with a 4.12 ERA in 19 career appearances (17 starts) versus the Blue Jays when he allowed two hits and struck out eight over eight scoreless innings of a victory at Toronto on June 29.
Estrada settled for a no-decision at Boston on Tuesday after scattering three hits over seven scoreless innings. The 34-year-old Mexican is riding a four-start unbeaten streak during which he notched a victory at Baltimore on Aug. 31 despite being tagged for six runs and 10 hits in five frames. With the win, Estrada improved to 6-1 lifetime and 2-0 in four turns this season against the Orioles.
1. Blue Jays INF Darwin Barney collected four hits on Sunday, has gone 6-for-8 over his last two games and recorded three multi-hit performances in his last five contests.
2. Toronto announced that RHP Aaron Sanchez, who hasn’t pitched since July 19 due to a blister on his right middle finger, will miss the remainder of the season.
3. Baltimore OF Craig Gentry, who suffered a fractured right middle finger on Sept. 1, will be examined on Monday and hopes to be activated from the 10-day disabled list the following day.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 6, Orioles 4