Baltimore (48-51) at Toronto (52-50)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 25° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 25, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Earlier this season, the Toronto Blue Jays’ high-powered offense masked Cory Lidle’s penchant for allowing an abundance of runs. But now, nothing can hide his ineffectiveness.

Lidle looks to snap a four-game losing streak was the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

“I’m concerned,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said of Lidle. “When he’s right, he gets that sinker going and he changes speeds.

“Right now he’s just not getting his pitches where he wants to get them.”

Lidle opened the season 10-4 over his first 16 starts but also carried a 4.82 ERA.

However, the veteran right-hander is 0-4 with an unsightly 10.86 ERA over his last five starts and has surrendered at least six runs in four of his last five outings. He hasn’t tasted victory since an 8-4 win over Montreal on June 20.

Lidle seemed to get back into form Saturday, allowing two runs and four hits over 4 2-3 innings in Toronto’s 5-4, 10-inning loss to Boston. However, he walked four and struck out three.

“He’s strong,” Toronto pitching coach Gil Patterson said, “and he’s going to get this back on track.”

The Blue Jays wasted solo homers from Vernon Wells and Eric Hinske in a 4-3, 13-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, their fourth loss in their last five.

The Orioles have won seven of eight since the All-Star break, including Thursday’s 5-3 win over the AL East-leading New York Yankees.

Sidney Ponson tossed 8 2-3 sharp innings, while Jeff Conine and B.J. Surhoff homered and Brian Roberts had a career-high four hits for Baltimore.

STANDINGS: Orioles - 4th place, 13 1/2 GB, AL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 10 1/2 GB, AL East.

ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Johnson (8-4, 3.65 ERA). Johnson has allowed just one run and 11 hits over his last 15 innings, spanning two starts. The veteran right-hander yielded just one run and six hits, while striking out five and walking just two, over 7 1-3 innings in Sunday’s 7-6 win over Anaheim. Johnson has struggled in his 13 career starts against Toronto, going 1-7 with a 7.09 ERA.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Lidle (10-8, 5.88 ERA). Lidle is 2-4 with a 5.66 ERA in 10 career appearances, including six starts, against Baltimore.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Orioles - Melvin Mora, .333 avg.; Tony Batista, 18 HRs; Conine, 71 RBIs and 60 runs; Roberts, 15 SBs. Blue Jays - Wells, .305 avg. and 81 runs; Carlos Delgado, 28 HRs and 99 RBIs; Bobby Kielty, 6 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 5-5.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Orioles - 1B Conine is hitting .643 with a double, two homers and six RBIs in 14 career at-bats against RHP Lidle. … OF Surhoff is hitting .481 (13-for-27) over his last seven games with two homers and seven RBIs. … Nine of the Orioles’ last 11 games have been decided by two runs or fewer and each of their last eight losses have come by one or two runs. Blue Jays - 1B Delgado is hitting .364 with one double, two homers and six RBIs in 33 career at-bats against RHP Johnson, and OF Wells is batting .417 with three homers and seven RBIs in 12 career at-bats against him. … Of the last 17 home runs hit by the Blue Jays, 15 have been solo shots, including nine of the last 10. … RHP Cliff Politte could be activated from the 15-day DL this weekend. However, Tosca said he won’t make Politte the closer when he comes back.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Orioles - 21-27 on the road; Blue Jays - 23-26 at home.

INJURIES: Orioles - OF Larry Bigbie (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Jerry Hairston Jr. (foot), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - INF Dave Berg (fatigue), 15-day DL; INF Josh Phelps (back), 15-day DL; RHP Politte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Johnson NYY vs. C. Lidle NYY
10-10 Record 12-15
4.18 ERA 5.75
118 K 112
80 BB 60
1.56 WHIP 1.43