Toronto (48-51) at Baltimore (49-50)

Sunny Currently: Baltimore, MD, US
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Jul 22, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With little chance at the playoffs, the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles likely will spend the final two-plus months of the season playing for the right to be called a fourth-place team.

The Orioles look to avoid falling back into the AL East cellar Tuesday night when the teams continue a four-game set at Camden Yards.

Baltimore (48-50) entered this series at the bottom of the East, but an 8-3 victory Monday moved it one-half game ahead of Toronto (48-51).

Adam Jones hit a two-run homer and Melvin Mora delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth inning as the Orioles ended a four-game losing streak to the Blue Jays.

Jones was back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday’s loss to Detroit with a swollen right ankle. He has reached base safely in 20 straight games, going 29-for-78 (.372) with 15 RBIs.

“He was determined to play tonight,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He’s 22 years old. I think he’s got a great mind-set. Other than his ability and his tools and everything, the guy’s got his head on right.”

Mora and left fielder Luke Scott also have been productive lately for Baltimore. Mora has 15 RBIs in his last 10 games, while Scott has seven in five contests since the All-Star break.

Toronto’s road woes continued as it lost for the 14th time in 18 away games. The Blue Jays have lost seven straight road series.

A weak offense has been an issue all season for Toronto, which ranks 12th in the AL in runs scored (416) and last in homers (68).

Shaun Marcum (5-4, 2.65 ERA) makes his first start in over a month for the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The right-hander felt pain in his elbow after a start against Milwaukee on June 18 and was placed on the 15-day disabled list three days later. He was determined to be suffering from strained ligaments around his elbow and forearm, an assessment later confirmed by arm specialist Dr. James Andrews.

“I couldn’t even wash my hair when I came out that day in Milwaukee,” Marcum told the team’s official Web site. “From there to what it is now, it’s almost like a 100 percent turnaround. My arm feels good and I’m glad to be back here.”

Marcum, who will be limited to 65-70 pitches, was having a strong season before the injury. He had allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of 15 starts while holding opponents to a .198 batting average.

Two of those 11 appearances came against the Orioles, who have managed only three runs and 11 hits over 13 2-3 innings against him.

Baltimore’s Nick Markakis has enjoyed facing Marcum, going 7-for-15 with four homers.

Struggling Garrett Olson (6-5, 5.79) counters for Baltimore. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 10.20 ERA in three starts since beating Washington on June 28. He allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings - his longest outing in seven starts - Thursday in a 6-5 loss to Detroit.

Since winning his first three home starts this season, Olson has been rouged up for 16 runs and 24 hits in his past four games at Camden Yards, covering 21 innings.

This will be Olson’s first appearance against the Blue Jays.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Marcum CLE vs. G. Olson OAK
9-7 Record 9-10
3.39 ERA 6.65
123 K 83
50 BB 62
1.16 WHIP 1.73


Tuesday, Jul 22