Baltimore (62-83) at Toronto (73-73)

  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Fri Sep 14, 2007
  • TV: MASN2, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

For one game at least, even without their manager, everything broke right for the Baltimore Orioles.

They now try to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month as they open a three-game series Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

After being pounded in two losses - the second of which saw manager Dave Trembley get ejected for arguing a call and being suspended three games - the Orioles (62-83) bounced back with a tidy 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday to avoid a sweep. Jon Leicester and three relievers combined for a five-hitter as Baltimore won for just the fourth time in 22 games.

Interim manager Tom Trebelhorn credited Trembley with the detailed pitching order—using relievers James Hoey, Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker in that order — that contributed to the win.

“I asked him, why haven’t you planned like this before?” joked Trebelhorn, who will be in charge for the next two games.

Brian Burres (5-5, 5.85 ERA) returns to the Orioles rotation for the first time since Aug. 4, but he struggled in the bullpen during the interim, compiling an 11.50 ERA in 18 innings spanning 12 relief appearances. The rookie left-hander did limit the Boston Red Sox to one run in 2 2-3 innings last Friday in his most recent outing, and is now trying to win a road start for the first time since May 31.

Burres already has lost a start at Rogers Centre, giving up two runs and seven hits in five innings of a 2-1 defeat. It was his only start this season against the Blue Jays, and Burres is 2-4 with a 6.81 ERA in eight road starts.

The Orioles are opening a 10-game road trip that also makes stops in New York and Texas.

Toronto (73-73) also avoided a sweep Thursday, rallying past the Yankees 2-1 to end a five-game losing streak. Frank Thomas drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, but the Blue Jays continued their offensive struggles.

They have totaled just 15 runs in their last six games, failing to score more than four in any of them.

Fellow rookie Jesse Litsch (5-8, 4.11) tries to end a personal three-start winless streak for the Blue Jays. The 22-year-old has lost consecutive starts but also has received just five runs of support in the last three outings.

Litsch was reached for three runs - all on solo homers - in five innings in a 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. The long ball has been a problem for him throughout the season, giving up 12 homers in just 87 2-3 innings in his 16 starts.

“It was definitely a battle,” Litsch said. “I knew I was going to have to battle through it. That’s pretty much what I did all game.”

Litsch has split two starts against the Orioles, coming one out shy of a complete game on May 15, but giving up five runs - two earned - in six innings of a defeat Aug. 18.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Burres COL vs. J. Litsch TOR
6-8 Record 7-9
5.95 ERA 3.81
96 K 50
66 BB 36
1.70 WHIP 1.37


Friday, Sep 14