Orioles hope to avoid sweep in Toronto

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Baltimore Orioles look to avoid a fourth straight
loss and a sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday at Rogers Centre.

The Orioles have lost three in a row after winning four of five games, and
dropped a 4-2 decision to the Blue Jays on Wednesday. After taking a 2-0 lead
in the third inning on Jimmy Paredes’s home run, Toronto went ahead for good
with a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Justin Smoak cracked a two-run homer in the fourth inning, then Devon Travis
belted a two-run shot in the fifth off Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo
Jimenez, who lasted five innings and fell to 1-1 on the season. Jimenez struck
out six and walked three batters.

Jays starter Aaron Sanchez did not fare much better in the win, but was able
to work out of trouble. He only allowed two hits and two runs in 5 1/3
innings, and walked seven batters.

“It was a battle for him, especially early,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons
said of Sanchez. “Even though he walked those guys, I thought he looked more

Baltimore is 2-4 on a seven-game road trip and will return to Camden Yards
this weekend for a nine-game stay versus Boston, Chicago (White Sox) and Tampa

Chris Tillman gets the call for the O’s Thursday and is 2-1 with a 5.52 earned
run average in three starts. Tillman threw 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in
his season debut on April 6 at the Rays, then was shelled for seven runs in
just 2 2/3 innings on April 12 versus Toronto.

Tillman bounced back in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Red Sox and yielded a run
over 5 1/3 innings. In 15 career starts against the AL East-rival Blue Jays,
Tillman has a 4-7 record and a 4.68 ERA.

The Blue Jays have won three of four games and are 4-5 on a 10-game homestand.

Toronto, which will start a 10-game trek this weekend against Tampa Bay,
Boston and Cleveland, hopes Drew Hutchison can pitch the club to a sweep of
the Orioles this evening.

Hutchison is 1-0 with a lofty 7.20 ERA in three starts and has recorded two
straight no-decisions. In last Friday’s 8-7 loss to Atlanta, Hutchison was
reached for five runs — four earned — in 4 2/3 innings. He has given up 11
earned runs in the past two outings.

The right-handed Hutchison was rocked by Baltimore for seven runs in 4 1/3
innings of a 10-7 win on April 12 at Camden Yards. He has made nine career
starts against the Orioles, going 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA.

The Blue Jays won two of three against the Orioles from April 10-12.