Advertisement

Orioles on deck: What to watch Thursday at Blue Jays

Orioles (86-72) vs. Blue Jays (87-71)

Where: Rogers Centre

Advertisement

First pitch: 7:07 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-12, 5.71 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (9-9, 4.34 ERA)

What to watch

1. All the marbles: OK, maybe it's not for all the marbles, but it would be a pretty big deal if the Orioles can leave Toronto tied with the Blue Jays for the top wild card. And a win tonight would accomplish just that. Wednesday's victory cut the Blue Jays' lead for home-field advantage in the wild-card game to one. The Orioles will still need to be a game better than the Blue Jays when the regular season ends, because Toronto has already won the season series. The Orioles go into tonight trailing the Blue Jays by a game, leading the Detroit Tigers by one game and leading the Seattle Mariners by two.

2. Reason for concern: The Orioles needed Hyun Soo Kim's ninth-inning home run Wednesday just to score more than two runs for the fourth time in 11 games. They have scored more than three only once during that stretch. The Orioles were built to mash, and they're not doing it right now. Whether it's too late to turn it back on will be worth watching.

3. Ubaldo-Stroman: Ubaldo Jimenez continues to be a big reason the Orioles have remained in the playoff race, turning around his season with a 2.85 ERA in six starts since returning to the rotation. Tonight's opponent, Marcus Stroman, has been good lately (2.63 ERA over his past four starts), but has had his hands full with the Orioles this season. Stroman has a 7.88 ERA in three starts against the division rival for his third-highest against any opponent in 2016.

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones
LF Hyun Soo Kim
3B Manny Machado
DH Mark Trumbo
C Matt Wieters
1B Chris Davis
2B Jonathan Schoop
RF Michael Bourn
SS J.J. Hardy

Advertisement
Advertisement