The duo will try to help Toronto to its first three-game series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in more than 3 1/2 years when the teams finish their series at Rogers Center.
Wells and Rios each had three hits and combined for three homers to lead the Blue Jays (11-8) to an 8-2 rout of the Orioles on Wednesday.
Wells is batting .400—four points better than Rios’ .396. They are the keys to the Blue Jays’ offense that leads the majors with a .313 batting average.
“They’ve (Rios and Wells) both been sitting around .400, (hitting) home runs, driving in runs,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “What’s good about them is when they get on base, they’ve got speed too. If you’re hitting behind them, you’ve got to like that.”
Toronto, which has scored at least seven runs in nine of its wins this season, last had a three-game home sweep of Baltimore (11-11) from Sept. 24-26, 2002.
Wells, Rios and the rest of the Blue Jays will face Kris Benson (2-2, 3.70 ERA), who has won both his games on the road. The right-hander allowed four runs and eight hits with three walks over 5 1-3 innings in the Orioles’ 6-5 win over the Yankees on Friday.
Benson’s only career appearance against the Blue Jays came in Toronto on June 10, 2003 while he was with Pittsburgh and it was a forgettable one. He was tagged for eight runs and eight hits—including three homers—in just 2 1-3 innings of a 13-8 loss.
Casey Janssen (0-0, 0.00) will make his major leage debut when he takes the mound for the Blue Jays. He went 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Syracuse.
“Hopefully he pitches well and has a chance to stay here a while,” Gibbons said.
Janssen takes over A.J. Burnett’s spot in the rotation while he is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained elbow ligament. Burnett, who signed a $55 million, five-year deal with Toronto in the offseason after spending seven years with the Florida Marlins, began the season on the DL with the same injury.
The Orioles have lost four straight games including three straight to left-handed pitchers.
“It’s not all offense,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “It’s a little bit of everything. The guys are working at it. It’s just not working right now.”
Baltimore pitchers have allowed 28 homers the last 16 games after giving up just four in its first six.