Orioles on deck: What to watch Tuesday vs. Blue Jays

Orioles (71-60) vs. Blue Jays (75-56)

Where: Camden Yards


First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-11, 6.62 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (17-4, 3.19 ERA)

What to watch

1. Slipping away: The Orioles are approaching the danger zone of falling far enough out of first place that winning the American League East would be a long shot, and losing the comfort of knowing they have the upper hand in the wild-card race as a fallback. Monday's loss dropped the Orioles four games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, and two behind the Boston Red Sox. It also allowed the Detroit Tigers to pull within a game of the second wild card. Can the Orioles slow their slide by gaining a game on the Blue Jays and adding some cushion to their lead over the Tigers?

2. Play it again, Ubaldo: Ubaldo Jimenez lost his rotation spot for good reason -- a 6.89 ERA on June 12, then a 7.38 ERA on July 8 will do that. But he has been solid in his only two starts since then, combining for two earned runs on 10 hits and three walks, while striking out 12 in 11 innings. He has had some poor relief appearances in between, but his two starts since the All-Star break have been good. With Chris Tillman out until next month, can Jimenez at least hold the fort?

3. Must hit: One run and four hits are rarely going to cut it to win against anyone in the major leagues, let alone a club boasting a lineup like the Blue Jays'. The Orioles are going to give up their share of runs in this series, so they need to score them, too. The Orioles' .773 OPS against the Blue Jays this season is their second highest against a division foe, and their 28 runs scored against Toronto are their most. They haven't done too well against tonight's starter, J.A. Happ, who has held them to a .216 average while pitching to a 3.21 ERA in two head-to-head starts this season. Can they break out to hand Happ his fifth loss of 2016?

Orioles lineup


LF Steve Pearce
DH Pedro Alvarez
3B Manny Machado
RF Mark Trumbo
1B Chris Davis
2B Jonathan Schoop
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
CF Nolan Reimold