current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

already a subscriber? Register me
Subscribe now See my options
Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Baltimore
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, September 15, 2014
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore Orioles are trying to make their final homestand of the season a memorable one and can reach their first goal of the season as they host the Toronto Blue Jays for three games beginning Monday. "That's the beauty of a team - everyone gets at-bats, everyone gets an opportunity to do something," Baltimore's Adam Jones told reporters after Kelly Johnson's walk-off double in the ninth inning gave the Orioles a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Orioles' magic number to win their first American League Division title since 1997 is three, so two victories over second-place Toronto will be cause for a celebration.

Baltimore has won seven of its last eight games and hasn't seemed to miss a beat without Chris Davis, who was suspended Friday for 25 games after testing positive for Adderall. Toronto is four games behind Kansas City for the AL's final wild card spot with 14 to play. The Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen is riding a six-game unbeaten streak and opposes rookie Marcus Stroman, who has won three straight starts and is coming off his first career shutout and complete game.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SNET (Toronto), MASN2 (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.61 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (15-4, 3.59)

Stroman was knocked down by a line drive in the first inning before striking out eight and allowing three hits in an 8-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs last Monday. ''It doesn't get any better than that,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. ''It was a dominating performance.'' The 23-year-old New York native, who has never faced Baltimore, won his last road start - 7-4 at Tampa Bay on Sept. 3 - but is 3-3 with a 5.73 in nine games (seven starts) away from home.

Chen has alternated no-decisions and wins in his last six turns after carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning before allowing one run and three hits in seven frames of a 10-6 victory in Boston on Wednesday. The 29-year-old Taiwan native is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in two starts against Toronto, including a 5-1 setback Aug. 6 when he yielded four runs and eight hits in five innings - including a two-run homer to Jose Bautista. Chen is 10-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 21 starts at night this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce on Sunday delivered back-to-back doubles leading off the ninth to help prevent the Orioles from losing consecutive home games for the first time since June 28-29.

2. The Orioles have won seven of the 13 meeting this season, but the Blue Jays have won four of seven in Baltimore.

3. Baltimore is 7-3 as it plays its final 23 games against AL East clubs.

PREDICTION: Orioles 3, Blue Jays 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 77-71 L1 41-33 36-38 36-30 16-16 12-18 13-7
Baltimore 89-60 W1 46-29 43-31 40-23 16-17 21-12 12-8
Last Meeting
Toronto Baltimore
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/7/14 BAL 2 TOR 1 .133 1 .502 .156 1 .550
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto J. Bautista .333 15 .999
Baltimore N. Cruz .348 16 .991
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto C. Rasmus 4 7 8
Baltimore C. Davis 5 7 10
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 3.68 .265 103
Baltimore 4.04 .246 84
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto M. Cabrera .301 171 .808
Baltimore A. Jones .285 171 .782
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Bautista 32 88 97
Baltimore N. Cruz 39 83 102
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.02 .260 1094
Baltimore 3.49 .257 1074