Baltimore (66-81) at Toronto (76-72)

  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 14, 2003
  • TV: WB54, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Blue Jays look for their fifth straight win as they try to complete a three-game sweep the Baltimore Orioles at SkyDome.

The Blue Jays have not swept a three-game set from the Orioles since August 3-5, 2001, and have not won five straight since June.

The Orioles’ sloppy play in the series, though, may make that sweep easy for them.

Baltimore fell apart in the outfield when right fielder Melvin Mora sustained a knee injury as he crashed onto the warning track chasing a triple by Vernon Wells with one out in the fourth.

Then, with Wells on third, Blue Jays catcher Greg Myers hit his first career inside-the-park home run, partly due to the poor play of Tim Raines Jr., who is starting in place of the injured center fielder Luis Matos.

“I should have hustled back. I just had a brain freeze,” Raines said. “I don’t have a whole lot of experience playing on turf. My mind went blank.”

Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove would likely have benched Raines after that if not for the injuries to Matos and Mora.

“That was unacceptable and he knows that,” Hargrove said.

The Orioles offense sputtered as well, going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They have scored only five runs in the past four games.

After their fourth straight loss Saturday, Baltimore can finish no better than .500. The Orioles have not finished with a winning record since 1997 when they went 98-67 and won the AL East.

The Blue Jays are four games over .500 for the first time since July 22.

After this game, Toronto will head to Detroit on Tuesday to start a six-game road trip finishing back in Baltimore for three more games.

The Blue Jays have won 13 of the last 19 games played with the Orioles dating back to 2002. They won 15 of 19 last season, their best record against any team in one season.

STANDINGS: Orioles - 4th place, 25 GB, AL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 15 1/2 GB, AL East.

ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Riley (no record). The left-hander will be pitching in the majors for the first time since 1999. In 13 starts with Triple-A Ottawa, Riley was 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA. He struck out 77 batters in 70.1 innings.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Cory Lidle (12-12, 6.02 ERA). The 27-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs—four earned—in five hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings in the Blue Jays 11-6 loss to Tampa Bay Tuesday. He is 3-4 with a 5.40 ERA in seven career starts against Baltimore.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Orioles - Jeff Conine, .290 avg. and 75 runs; Tony Batista, 25 HRs; Jay Gibbons and Batista, 93 RBIs; Brian Roberts, 22 SBs. Blue Jays - Wells, .318 avg. and 107 runs; Carlos Delgado, 35 HRs and 126 RBIs; Eric Hinske, 9 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 9-6.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Orioles - RHP Pat Hentgen has allowed two inside-the-park home runs this season. Detroit INF Shane Halter hit one on May 6. … LF Mora is hitting .317 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs this season. … 3B Batista has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 14-for-40 (.350) during that stretch. Blue Jays - Myers became the first Blue Jays player to hit an inside-the-park homer since catcher Ken Huckaby did it July 17, 2002, also against Baltimore. … RHP Kelvim Escobar walked a season-high six, one shy of his career-high. … CF Wells hit his fourth triple, leaving him one shy of the team lead shared by OF Frank Catalanotto and 2B Orlando Hudson.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Orioles - 28-45 on the road; Blue Jays - 36-37 at home.

INJURIES: Orioles - DH-1B David Segui (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (elbow), 60-day DL; RF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; DH-LF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Riley SD vs. C. Lidle NYY
1-0 Record 12-15
1.80 ERA 5.75
8 K 112
5 BB 60
1.20 WHIP 1.43