It’s Gonzalez vs. Buehrle today

The Orioles will try to improve their series record to 26-17-4 with a win today in Toronto, but it’s more important to improve their spot in the wild card race.

Taking a lead hasn’t been an issue for the Orioles. Holding it in the late innings is another matter.

A few more hits with runners in scoring position also would provide a boost. Might actually prevent all these one- and two-run losses.

The Orioles are seeing another left-hander today, veteran Mark Buehrle, who’s 11-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 30 starts this season and is making $11 million. He’ll earn $18 million next year and $19 million in 2015.

Worth the money?

Will Nick Markakis lead off against Buehrle in manager Buck Showalter’s right-handed lineup? Markakis is 14-for-37 (.412) with three doubles and two homers lifetime against Buehrle.

Chris Davis is 6-for-12 with two homers. He’s going to hit third again today.

Adam Jones is 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles and a homer. He’s going to hit cleanup.

Michael Morse figures to get another start in his platoon role, but he’s 2-for-15 against Buehrle. He’s 3-for-21 as an Oriole, his last hit coming in his second game with his new team on Sept. 3.

Miguel Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Blue Jays. He’s working on four days rest today.

Why do I mention it? Because Gonzalez has a career 4.66 ERA on four days rest and a 2.54 ERA on five days rest.

The current Blue Jays have a collective .228 average vs. Gonzalez, going 18-for-79.

Adam Lind is 6-for-13 lifetime against him. Colby Rasmus, who has homered in the first two games of this series, is 1-for-12 with six strikeouts. Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-14, but both hits are home runs.

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