Blue Jays-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

Called upon to make his second career start in spot duty for the Toronto Blue Jays, Todd Redmond turned in an impressive performance.

A repeat effort could be tough to come by as he encounters one of baseball's most powerful lineups.

Redmond looks to keep the Baltimore Orioles in the park Saturday as they host Toronto.

The Blue Jays couldn't have asked for much more from Redmond (1-1, 3.55 ERA) Sunday considering their rotation's struggles this year. He limited Minnesota to one hit - a two-run homer - and three walks over five innings of an 11-5 victory.

"He couldn't have done a better job," manager John Gibbons said.

Toronto will take all the pitching help it can get, with its starters ranking near the bottom of the majors with a 4.91 ERA. Redmond's showing was enough to earn another start after he had also posted a 3.52 ERA over three relief appearances earlier this season.

The right-hander's only previous big league experience was a rough start last year for Cincinnati that saw him surrender four runs over 3 1-3 innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Redmond will look to avoid results similar to that of Mark Buehrle in Friday's series opener, an 8-5 Baltimore victory. All eight runs came against the left-hander on homers by All-Stars Chris Davis, Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy.

Davis' homer - his second in as many days and his 13th in his last 27 games versus Toronto - improved his major league-leading total to 35. Hardy had gone 19 games without a home run, a span in which he was 10 for 66. Jones' homer was his fifth in the last eight games versus the Blue Jays.

The Orioles (52-42) lead baseball with 128 homers and they've totaled 19 in their last eight meetings with Toronto 44-48).

"That's what they do in a great park to hit home runs," Gibbons said. "They had the two big three-run homers, but you've got to expect here that's going to happen. You have to go toe to toe."

Baltimore starter Jason Hammel (7-5, 5.03) will also have to mindful of the long ball, as J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion homered for Toronto, which ranks second in the majors with 114 home runs.

Hammel gave up one run over five innings in a 2-1 road win against the New York Yankees on Sunday - breaking a six-game losing streak for the Orioles in his starts - but his winless stretch grew to seven starts as he failed to record a decision.

He's surrendered six home runs over his last two starts versus Toronto after giving up four in his previous seven against the Blue Jays.

Encarnacion, who was 5 for 29 during a nine-game homerless drought before Friday, is 6 for 14 off Hammel with two homers, including one in a 7-6 victory June 21.

Jose Bautista fell to 2 for 24 over his last six games after going hitless in five at-bats with four strikeouts Friday. He's 2 for 14 off Hammel and 2 for his last 32 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles have won 10 of 13 at home against the Blue Jays.

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