By Matt Vensel
10:15 AM EDT, June 15, 2011
The Orioles haven’t won a game in Toronto in 22 months, a crazy road losing skid that continued Tuesday night when the Blue Jays won in extra innings, 6-5, on Adam Lind’s walk-off home run. Of course, the Blue Jays have had their number at Camden Yards, too, but the losses at Rogers Centre have become automatic.
"We have had our struggles for a while. Period," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We don't look at some place [being tough to play at]. Our guys, other than going through customs here, enjoy playing here."
Adam Jones had issues getting across the border in the past, but I’m still not sure why the Orioles haven’t been able to smuggle their bats and gloves into Canada and escape with a victory since Aug. 7, 2009.
It’s pretty easy to see why this is an issue. The Orioles want to claw their way out of the AL East cellar, but that’s not going to happen if they keep getting manhandled by the fourth-best team in the division. That’s not meant to be a slight toward the Blue Jays, who have quietly finished with a winning record in four of the past five seasons. Their home dominance against the Orioles -- the Orioles are 10-37 in Toronto since the start of 2006 -- has played a role in their ability to stay relatively competitive in the AL East.
The Orioles play 14 more games against the Blue Jays in 2011, including eight in Toronto. They will make it 14 consecutive losing seasons if they don’t turn their fortunes around against the Blue Jays. But if they buck their losing ways against the Jays and have similar success to what they have done against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays under Showalter, their chances of reaching .500 -- and maybe escaping the AL East cellar – will be much better.
Your turn: Why have the Orioles struggled so much in Toronto and against the Blue Jays in general (serious and unserious answers will be accepted)? And what can they do to turn things around?
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