Blue Jays-Orioles Preview
Shaun Marcum was cruising in his opening day start before
running into trouble.
Since then, things have gone much smoother for the Toronto Blue
Marcum goes for his first win when he takes the mound Sunday as
Toronto tries to complete a three-game road sweep of the Baltimore
Orioles for the first time since 2004.
A six-game road trip didn’t seem an ideal way for the Blue Jays
(4-1) to open the season after they were 30-51 away from home in
2009. However, after a 5-4 loss to Texas on Monday, Toronto has
rebounded to win four straight, including a 3-0 victory over
Baltimore (1-4) on Saturday.
Dana Eveland gave up five hits in 7 1-3 innings while Jose
Molina had two hits and two RBIs.
Eveland’s outing improved Toronto’s rotation to 2-0 with a 2.77
ERA since Marcum’s start on Monday. Three of the four starting
pitchers since have made it through the sixth inning.
Marcum (0-0, 3.86 ERA) will try to extend the winning streak.
After missing all of last season while recovering from elbow
surgery, the right-hander was solid in his first start since
September 2008, holding Texas hitless until giving up a one-out
single in the seventh. He walked the next batter and then served up
game-tying three-run homer.
“Watching Shaun pitch, he’s where he wants to be,” center
fielder Vernon Wells told the Blue Jays’ official Web site. “This
early, looking that good, throwing strikes with everything, I think
that’s the most encouraging thing about this game.”
Marcum, who is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in eight starts and two
relief appearances against the Orioles, will look to help Toronto
complete the road sweep. While the Blue Jays won six of their first
eight road games last season, they didn’t sweep a team away from
home until taking three straight at Philadelphia from June
Toronto last swept a series in Baltimore in August 2004.
The Orioles, who scored 11 runs in the previous two games, had
six hits Saturday, but stranded seven. They had runners on first
and second with one out in the ninth but Matt Wieters struck out
and Nolan Reimold popped out to end the game.
Baltimore is trying to avoid a 1-5 start for the first time
since 2002 when the team dropped six of its first seven.
“We’ve played competitive baseball. The games are close,”
manager Dave Trembley said. “We haven’t gotten big hits when we
Kevin Millwood (0-0, 3.60) will try to help the Orioles bounce
back. He pitched five innings opening day against Tampa Bay,
allowing two runs and nine hits in five innings of a 4-3 loss on
The right-hander is 2-4 with a 5.33 ERA in nine starts against
the Blue Jays. He had a 2.45 ERA in two starts last season against
them, splitting the decisions.
Wells, who went 0 for 3 Saturday with two walks, has struggled
against Millwood, going 3 for 19.
Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts (abdominal sprain) did
not play Saturday and is expected to be sidelined for the next
several days. Julio Lugo started in his place and had two hits.
The Orioles went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position
Saturday and are 8 for 46 (.176) in such situations this
Center fielder Adam Jones is in a 1-for-17 skid since getting
three hits on Opening Day.