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Orioles-Blue Jays Preview

AP - Sports

Though their pitching staff has played a key role in a lengthy winning streak, the Toronto Blue Jays figure to be tested by the powerful Baltimore Orioles.

R.A. Dickey looks for his second win during the run as the host Blue Jays go for their ninth straight victory Friday night against heavy hitting Baltimore.

Toronto starters have posted a 1.18 ERA in the last seven games, while the bullpen has gone 24 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Reliever Brett Cecil has retired 38 batters without giving up a hit, the longest streak in team history.

The Blue Jays, who have their longest win streak since a 10-game run in 2008, beat Colorado 5-2 on Wednesday.

"I can't pinpoint why everything is clicking, but we're getting a big hit, getting a big pitch when we need to, guys are playing great defense behind us," winning pitcher Mark Buehrle said. "I don't know what's happening, but hopefully (we) continue it as long as we can."

Though last in the AL East, the Blue Jays (35-36) are beginning a 10-game stretch against division opponents.

Dickey (6-8, 4.90 ERA) looks to keep the win streak alive after allowing 10 runners but limiting Texas to one run over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-1 win Saturday.

"Even when he's not at his best, he competes,'' manager John Gibbons said. "He battled, got out of some jams.''

Dickey, though, is 3-4 with a 5.61 ERA in seven home starts after giving up six runs and nine hits - two homers - over 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Baltimore on May 25.

Adam Jones homered off him in that contest and went 7 for 18 with four home runs to help Baltimore (42-31) split the four-game series.

The Orioles, 22-16 on the road, scored 27 runs and hit 10 homers in that set. They rank at or near the top of the major leagues with 98 home runs, a .274 batting average and 360 runs.

Baltimore seeks its third straight win and ninth in 12 games after scoring 18 times and hitting five homers in its last two.

First baseman Chris Davis went 6 for 14 with two homers in the May series at Toronto. He leads the majors with 26 home runs after hitting two in a 13-3 victory at Detroit on Wednesday.

"We're doing a lot of things right,'' said Davis, 2 for 6 with a double against Dickey this season.

Dickey will try to avoid his third loss of the season to the Orioles, having given up 10 runs over 12 2-3 innings in his two starts against them.

He'll be opposed by fellow right-hander Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.24), who is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA in three starts this month. Hammel was scheduled to start Tuesday but was unable to pitch against the Tigers due to a stomach virus.

He's 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts in Toronto, giving up a career-worst four homers there in a 4-1 loss May 30, 2012.

Melky Cabrera has homered in his past two at-bats against Hammel, last facing him in 2011.

Adam Lind is 12 for 24 with a homer and two doubles versus the Orioles this season, though he's 1 for 8 lifetime against Hammel.

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