Toronto (19-24) at Baltimore (20-24)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue May 22, 2007
  • TV: MASN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays have faced each other six times this season, and the home team has swept each three-game series.

The Blue Jays hope to buck that trend as they try to snap out of their road slump in the opener of a three-game set at Camden Yards on Tuesday.

Toronto (19-24) has rebounded from its season-high nine-game losing streak with wins in six of its last nine games. The team’s road struggles, however, have continued as the Blue Jays have lost eight of nine away from Rogers Centre this month to drop to 7-13 on the road.

In those eight losses, the Jays have been outscored 56-28.

Toronto snapped a seven-game road skid in Philadelphia on Saturday, but dropped two of three in the series, including Sunday’s 5-3 defeat.

The injury-plagued Jays pitching staff hopes to get another solid performance from A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99 ERA), who has held opponents to one run in each of his last two starts - both wins. He hasn’t won three straight starts since a streak of four consecutive victories from Aug. 6-22.

With ace Roy Halladay sidelined with appendicitis, Burnett has become the team’s most dependable starter.

“We all know who Roy is around here, but with him down, I’m doing my (best) to keep us right in it until we get him back,” Burnett told the team’s official Web site.

Burnett pitched a three-hitter for a 2-1 win over Baltimore on Wednesday, walking two and striking out 10. He’s 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles, including 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two starts this year.

The right-hander has 29 strikeouts in his last three starts, including 10 in his last two.

“(Burnett) is one of the dominating guys in baseball,” manager John Gibbons told the team’s Web site. “You’re not going to find anyone with a better arm. When he’s got everything going, that’s exactly what he can do to you.”

Like his team, though, Burnett has struggled on the road, where he’s 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA in five starts. He did turn in a strong performance at Baltimore on April 20, when he gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings of Toronto’s 5-4 loss. He didn’t get the decision.

That defeat started Baltimore’s sweep of the series, but the Blue Jays returned the favor last week, winning twice by one run and once by two at Rogers Centre from Monday-Wednesday.

The Orioles have won three straight at Camden Yards, but just completed a 3-6 road trip.

They took the first two matchups with Washington over the weekend, but lost the finale 4-3 on Sunday. Baltimore scored only 11 runs in the series, although it had 32 hits after recording only 23 in its previous four games - all losses.

“The good part about it is they are starting to swing the bats and get some hits,” manager Sam Perlozzo told the team’s Web site.

Right fielder Nick Markakis hit .342 (13-for-38) on the road trip and is 9-for-23 (.391) with a home run and six RBIs against the Blue Jays this year.

Baltimore’s Daniel Cabrera (3-4, 4.27) will make his second straight start against Toronto. He held the Blue Jays to two runs and three hits in eight innings Tuesday, but was charged with the loss as the Orioles fell 2-1.

Cabrera is 4-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 13 starts against the Blue Jays, including 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in two starts this season.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Burnett Pit vs. D. Cabrera Cin
10-8 Record 9-18
3.75 ERA 5.55
176 K 166
66 BB 108
1.19 WHIP 1.54


Tuesday, May 22