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Orioles get a boost; now it's Toronto or bust

The Orioles came from behind twice on Wednesday night, first erasing a four-run deficit in the third inning and then tying the game in the ninth on a dramatic two-run home run by second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Chris Davis finished the job with a truly mammoth home run in the 11th to end their six-game losing streak.

So, what did it all mean?

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Did the Orioles break through some glass ceiling before heading off to Toronto to challenge one of the most dominant teams in either league?

Is there still time to stage a miraculous September run and steal the second American League wild-card berth from all the teams that are looking down on them?

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Manager Buck Showalter doesn't deal in such questions. He knows that whatever momentum his team gained from Wednesday night's victory is only certain to last the 44-or-so hours from the time that Davis's home run landed just under the center-field scoreboard until Manny Machado steps to the plate on Friday night against Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison.

It doesn't help that Hutchison is 13-2 and -- based on his 4.87 ERA -- has a real knack for showing up on the nights when the explosive Blue Jays lineup is pounding on some helpless opposing pitcher. He's also 5-1 with a 3.13 career ERA against the Orioles.

The Orioles saw both sides of Hutchison in two April games against him. He gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in one start, which -- you guessed it -- the Jays won anyway, then came back 11 days later to pitch eight innings and give up just two runs on four hits.

Of course, at this point, it's probably more about the Orioles struggling lineup than it is about whoever is throwing the baseball past them. If the three home runs Davis has hit in his past five at-bats are an indication that he and the Orioles are taking off at the plate, then they might be able to make life difficult for the first-place Jays.

If not, well, everyone has seen what the Jays are doing to opposing pitchers and the Orioles haven't even settled on a starter for one of the three games. The Jays can drop a double-digit run total on any team at any time and the Orioles pitching staff is banged up both mentally and physically.

There have been better times to visit Canada, but that can't be helped. The Orioles have to win every series the rest of the way to even dream of getting into the postseason, which means that it's Toronto or bust.

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