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

needed them.”

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.