Blue Jays Seek 5th Straight Over Orioles Print
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:00
MLB Headline News

Blue Jays Rolling

The Toronto Blue Jays have been a much improved team lately. Most of that success has come at the expense of the struggling Baltimore Orioles.

The Blue Jays seek their fifth straight win over the Orioles when the AL East rivals continue their three-game series on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers have made Baltimore -135 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9.5ev total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 84% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago -110 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Alex Rios had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run fifth inning, leading Toronto to a 6-4 victory in Tuesday's series opener at Camden Yards.

Jason Phillips hit his first home run of 2007 for the Blue Jays, winners of seven of 10 since losing a season-high nine straight - their longest skid in four years. Four of those victories have come against the Orioles (20-25), who have dropped two straight and seven of nine.

Baltimore scored twice in the fourth inning, but the second run came when Melvin Mora hit into a double play with the bases loaded.

"We just needed one fly ball or a base hit with the bases loaded, and we've got a different ballgame,'' Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Baltimore swept a three-game home series from Toronto in April, but the Blue Jays returned the favor last week with a three-game sweep at Rogers Centre.

"Wins on the road are important right now, especially against these guys,'' winning pitcher A.J. Burnett said. "They swept us last time, so it's good to come in here and get a W.''

Despite the absence of regular closer B.J. Ryan - out for the season following elbow surgery - the Blue Jays' bullpen has gotten surprisingly stronger.

New closer Jeremy Accardo worked a perfect ninth Tuesday for his fourth save in as many chances. He has not allowed an earned run in 20 innings this season. Casey Janssen, meanwhile, hasn't allowed an earned run in 13 straight appearances, spanning 12 2-3 innings.

Toronto's Dustin McGowan (0-1, 8.22 ERA) hopes his fourth start of the season yields better results than his first three. McGowan has allowed five runs in two of his three outings and hasn't pitched past the sixth in any appearance.

He had his shortest start of the season Friday in a 5-3 loss at Philadelphia, giving up five runs on three hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings. The right-hander also hasn't fared very well in two career starts against Baltimore, going 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA.

The Orioles continue to get little production from their best hitter. Miguel Tejada, who has four 30-home run seasons, has one extra-base hit in his last 24 games and hasn't homered since April 25.

Through 45 games, he has two homers and 18 RBIs after he had 13 home runs and 35 RBIs at this point last season. He also has hit into five double plays in the past six contests.

Steve Trachsel (2-3, 3.86) will try to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. The veteran right-hander gave the Orioles another effective outing Friday in a 5-4 victory at Washington, limiting the Nationals to two runs and four hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Trachsel, who has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts overall, is 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three home outings.

Trachsel beat the Blue Jays at Camden Yards on April 22, yielding one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. He is 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in five career starts against Toronto.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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