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Orioles on deck: What to watch Thursday vs. Blue Jays, plus series matchups

Orioles (68-65) vs. Blue Jays (61-72)

Where: Camden Yards

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First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 4.88 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (6-8, 5.04)

Series matchups

Offense (MLB rank)

Runs per game: Orioles (4.90, ninth); Blue Jays (4.21, 26th)

Average: Orioles (.267, fourth); Blue Jays (.241, 29th)

Home runs: Orioles (203, third); Blue Jays (180, 13th)

OPS: Orioles (.772, ninth); Blue Jays (.724, 25th)

Pitching (MLB rank)

Team ERA: Orioles (4.81, 26th); Blue Jays (4.58, 19th)

Starters' ERA: Orioles (5.54, 29th); Blue Jays (4.67, 17th)

Bullpen ERA: Orioles (3.72, seventh); Blue Jays (4.45, 21st)

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Fielding (MLB rank)

Fielding percentage: Orioles (.984, 13th); Blue Jays (.984, 16th)

Errors: Orioles (77, 13th fewest); Blue Jays (79, 15th most)

UZR/150: Orioles (-5.0, 29th); Blue Jays (-2.0, 23rd)

Defensive runs saved: Orioles (-13, 20th); Blue Jays (-29, 24th)

What to watch

1. Magic 8. The Orioles look to extend their longest winning streak of the season tonight as they go for their eighth straight victory. They enter this weekend's four-game visit from the last-place Blue Jays looking to keep pace with the Twins for the second wild card. The Orioles went into the day trailing by 1½ games and hope to stay there after the Twins won this afternoon.

2. Keep it going. Jeremy Hellickson bounced back from hist first down stretch with the Orioles by allowing two earned runs in seven innings his last time out. He looks to make it two good starts in a row against a team he knows well. In 16 career starts against the Blue Jays, the right-hander is 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 94 2/3 innings. The only team Hellickson has thrown more innings against in his career … is the Orioles.

3. End on top. The Orioles end the month of August tonight having had perhaps the best offensive month of any team in baseball. They lead the majors with a .303 average, 55 homers and an .879 OPS, while ranking third with 167 runs this month. Do they have one more big offensive day in store before the calendar turns to September?

Orioles lineup

SS Tim Beckham

3B Manny Machado

2B Jonathan Schoop

CF Adam Jones

LF Trey Mancini

1B Chris Davis

DH Mark Trumbo

C Welington Castillo

​​​​​RF Seth Smith

jland@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JoshLandSun

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