Swept in Cleveland, O's road trip heads to Toronto

Chris Davis snapped a 3-for-31 stretch with a homer. Jeremy Hellickson provided a quality start after his ERA was 9.51 his previous five starts. Jonathan Schoop had three hits, raised his average to .305 and drove in his 103rd run. The O's bullpen pitched two scoreless.

It didn't lead to a win though. Not against a sizzling-hot Cleveland team which seldom trails recently and hasn't lost since Aug. 23rd. Cleveland made it 18 wins in a row in beating the Orioles 3-2 last night.

Right after Schoop's RBI single tied it 1-1 in the top of the sixth, Cleveland's Roberto Pérez and Francisco Lindor hit back-to-back homers off Hellickson in the home sixth for the 3-1 lead.

During an 18-game win streak, Cleveland has outscored its opponents 121 to 32. They outscored the Orioles 12-4, winning 5-0, 4-2 and 3-2 to complete the sweep. The Orioles have been swept three in a row by seven teams - the Royals, Twins, Astros, Yankees, Brewers, Cubs and Indians.

The O's offense produced three runs or less for the 62nd time and they are 14-48 in those games. They scored four runs in the series. The last four games - all Orioles losses - they have scored five runs on 23 hits with two homers and have gone 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

The Twins lost again Sunday and refuse to take charge of the race for the second AL wild card. So the Orioles are just three games behind for wild card No. 2. But there are just 19 games to play. And now there are three teams between the Orioles and Twins, who lead the Angels by one game and Texas and Kansas City by 2 ½ games. The challenge is getting bigger by the day.

Now the Orioles road trip moves on to Toronto. The Orioles and Blue Jays split a recent four-game series in Baltimore. The Orioles two wins came in extra innings. On the year, the Orioles are 11-5 versus Toronto, going 4-0-1 in five series. They are 6-3 at home and 5-2 on the road.

Toronto beat Detroit 8-2 yesterday to improve to 66-77 for a season in which the Blue Jays have mostly been in last place. Toronto has lost nine of its last 14 and is 7-15 over the last 22 games. Toronto is 37-35 at home and 27-38 versus AL East teams. The Orioles are 33-26 against the division.

Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar went 2-for-4 in the win Sunday. Over his past 23 games, he is batting .337 with eight doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs. Pillar has hit .317 this season against Orioles pitchers.

In the first 16 games with Toronto, the Orioles have outscored the Jays 60-52 and out-homered them, 23-16. O's pitchers have a 2.78 ERA in the season series with a WHIP of 1.13 and a .224 batting average against.

They need some wins in Toronto. Maybe three of them. The Orioles are starting to run out of season.

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