Blue Jays-Orioles Preview

In a rare occurrence, the Toronto Blue Jays were outslugged in

their last game. They likely won’t have to worry about that against

the light-hitting Baltimore Orioles.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays face off with the Orioles for

the first time Friday, hoping to enjoy the same success against

their AL East rival as they had last year.

Toronto (28-28) has followed a four-game winning streak by

losing its last two, including a 13-9 defeat to Cleveland on

Wednesday. The Blue Jays fell for just the third time in 22 games

when scoring at least six runs – they were 10-0 in May when

reaching that mark.

They trailed 12-0 after three innings before their rally fell

short. Eric Thames, Rajai Davis and Jayson Nix hit three straight

triples during a three-run fifth – the first team to do that in 30

years. Davis drove in four runs, and Bautista hit a two-run single

in the ninth.

“It could have been a lot uglier than it was,” Corey Patterson

told the team’s official website. “We got the nine runs – that’s a

positive we can take. We didn’t just fold.”

Bautista leads the majors with 20 home runs but has gone four

games without one. His longest drought this season is five games.

However, he’s 10 for 20 with eight RBIs in the last five games.

Bautista keyed Toronto’s success against Baltimore in 2010,

hitting nine home runs in 18 games. The Blue Jays went 15-3 in the

series, although they were swept in a three-game set at Camden

Yards in September.

The Orioles (25-29) scored 18 runs in that series but averaged

2.2 in the 15 losses, and the offense wasn’t much better on their

recent six-game road swing.

They were held to two runs four times in that span while batting

.212 but avoided a winless trip with a 2-1 win at Seattle on

Wednesday.

Adam Jones had three hits, including the go-ahead homer in the

eighth inning, and made a highlight-reel catch against the

center-field wall. Jones is batting .361 in the last 21 games, with

10 of his 30 hits going for extra bases.

“He’s having a special year,” manager Buck Showalter said.

That’s particularly true at home, where Jones is hitting .315

with six homers and 24 RBIs in 29 games. He’s at .273 with one home

run and six RBIs on the road.

Similarly, the Orioles have been much better at Camden Yards,

winning five straight. They haven’t won six in a row at home since

April 2-14, 2008.

Baltimore’s Zach Britton (5-3, 2.93 ERA) is 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA

in seven home starts heading into his outing Friday.

The rookie left-hander, who has the lowest ERA among the

rotation, is coming off his worst start after giving up six runs

and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss at Oakland on

Sunday.

“The next time, I’m not saying I’m going to dominate, but I’m

going to go out there and focus on making better pitches and keep

us in the game a little bit better than I did,” Britton told the

Orioles’ official website.

Carlos Villanueva (2-0, 2.62) is scheduled to make his third

start in place of the injured Jesse Litsch for Toronto.

After holding the New York Yankees to one run in five innings

May 23, he surrendered six runs and eight hits in five innings of a

9-8, 14-inning win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

The right-hander made a four-inning relief appearance in 2008

against Baltimore, allowing one run and two hits.