O’s game blog: Jimenez faces Toronto in series finale

TORONTO - The winning team has trailed at some point in each of the first three games of the series between the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

So the key today is to fall behind?

For the Orioles, the key is probably to get a much better pitched game than yesterday when they lost 11-6 and allowed a season-high tying 11 runs.

O’s pitchers have allowed 20 runs and 31 hits in the series. They didn’t yield a homer in Thursday’s win, but have given up five the past two games. The team ERA was 3.91 when the series began and is 4.04 now.

O’s batters have scored 15 runs on 27 hits in this series. The Orioles have hit seven home runs, five solo shots. They have gone 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position the past two days.

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Manny Machado was 4-for-21 over his last six games before Saturday when he went 3-for-5 with a single, double and his 16th homer. The home run gave the O’s a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Joey Rickard entered yesterday’s game with just four hits his past 33 at-bats. But he went 3-for-5 and hit his fifth homer.

Chris Davis has homered in four consecutive games. In that span, he is 6-for-13 with a double, four home runs and eight RBIs.

It is a matchup of right-handers today when Ubaldo Jimenez (3-6, 6.21 ERA) faces Aaron Sanchez (5-1, 2.91 ERA). On paper, it is advantage Blue Jays.

Jimenez allowed nine hits, but just one run over five innings Tuesday against Kansas City. In his seven previous starts he went 1-4 with an 8.39 ERA. In 12 starts he has just three quality starts and none over his past six games. He has pitched five innings or less seven times.

Jimenez went 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA last year against Toronto. This year, he faced them April 20 and gave up two runs and five hits in five innings. In 14 career games against Toronto, he is 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA.

The 23-year-old Sanchez is having a strong year. He has allowed just two earned runs over 14 2/3 innings his past two starts. Over his last four starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA. He has 10 quality starts in 12 outings.

Sanchez is good against both-handed batters, allowing a .220 average to lefty batters and a .222 average against right-handed hitters. In eight games (three starts) in his career against Baltimore, he is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA and has allowed four homers and 18 walks in 21 innings.

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