Baltimore (18-22) at Toronto (17-22)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Wed May 16, 2007
  • TV: MASN2, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Blue Jays’ resurgence began with A.J. Burnett on the mound. Now, they’ll turn to him to keep it going.

Burnett tries to lead the Blue Jays to a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles when the AL East rivals conclude their three-game series Wednesday at Rogers Centre.

Toronto (17-22) dropped a season-high nine straight games to begin May, but ended that slide with a 5-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday. Burnett (3-3, 4.56 ERA) held the Devil Rays to one run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings while walking five and striking out a season-high 10.

That contest began a 4-1 stretch for the Blue Jays, who beat Baltimore 2-1 on Tuesday.

“I was a little wild early but I was aggressive,” said Burnett, who is trying to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season. “Once I settled down and got in a rhythm, I just kept attacking. I didn’t want to let my guard down.”

Burnett is 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA in two career starts versus the Orioles, including an April 20 outing when he didn’t receive a decision. The right-hander held Baltimore to two runs and three hits over seven innings in a game Toronto eventually lost 5-4.

The Blue Jays were swept by Baltimore in that series, but are now on the verge of returning the favor. Toronto starter Jesse Litsch pitched into the ninth inning in his major league debut on Tuesday while Troy Glaus, who is batting a team-high .319 this season, singled in the winning run in the sixth.

Alex Rios hit his fourth leadoff homer of the season for Toronto, which has taken seven of the last eight meetings between these teams at Rogers Centre.

The Orioles (18-22) are trying to avoid matching their season-high five-game losing streak set April 23-27. They are a dismal 6-14 on the road - tied for the most defeats in the AL - and have lost eight of their last nine away from home.

Brian Burres (1-1, 3.68) looks to end the slump and build on his first career victory when he takes the ball for Baltimore. The left-hander limited Boston to two runs and seven hits over five innings in a 6-3 win on Friday.

The 26-year-old rookie, who was making only his second career start, worked out of bases-loaded jams in each of the first two innings.

“It is a great feeling to get that win,” Burres told the Orioles’ official Web site. “I kind of just had to battle every inning. I kind of had to get myself out of some stuff. It helped out that my team played great defense for me and did a good job behind me.”

Burres made a relief appearance against the Blue Jays on April 22, allowing two runs and three hits in one inning of work.

Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts extended his hitting streak to a 14 games Tuesday, and scored the team’s only run when Miguel Tejada hit into a double play. He is 2-for-5 with a walk in his career against Burnett.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Burres Col vs. A. Burnett Pit
6-8 Record 10-8
5.95 ERA 3.75
96 K 176
66 BB 66
1.70 WHIP 1.19


Wednesday, May 16