Listen live as the Baltimore Orioles face off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Tune in on 105.7 The Fan (no streaming).
When: 7:07 PM ET, Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
By SportsDirect Inc.
The Toronto Blue Jays are still alive in the race for the American League East crown, though just barely. The Blue Jays will try to keep their chances alive and knock the Baltimore Orioles further back in the wild card race when they host the second of a three-game series on Wednesday.
The Boston Red Sox had a chance to clinch the AL East crown with a win or a Toronto loss on Tuesday but neither event occurred, leaving the Blue Jays five games back in the East with five left in the regular season. The wild card race is the bigger focus as Toronto moved two games ahead of the Orioles for the top spot and, more importantly, remained three games clear of the third-place Detroit Tigers and four in front of the Seattle Mariners with a 5-1 triumph in Tuesday’s series opener. Baltimore is just one game north of the Tigers and will play its final five regular-season games on the road, where it is 35-41. The Orioles would like to avoid coming back to Toronto for the wild card game and are 2-6 in eight games at the Blue Jays in 2016.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.84 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH Francisco Liriano (8-13, 4.88)
Tillman is trying to bounce back from a terrible outing against Boston on Thursday, when he was reached for three runs on five hits and three walks in just 1 2/3 innings. The California native is in line to start for Baltimore in a potential wild card game and is making his fourth start since August 20 after missing three weeks with bursitis in his right shoulder. Tillman allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings at Toronto on July 31 and is 5-10 with a 5.61 ERA in 23 career starts against the Blue Jays.
Liriano is no stranger to pitching in big games after helping the Pittsburgh Pirates to the playoffs the last three years and is 2-2 with a 3.35 ERA in nine appearances – seven starts – since joining Toronto. The Dominican Republic native is coming off his best performance since returning to the AL, holding the New York Yankees scoreless on three hits in six innings to earn a win on Friday. Liriano has not seen Baltimore since joining the team and is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last three home starts.
1. Blue Jays RHP Joaquin Benoit suffered a torn left calf during a benches-clearing incident against New York on Monday and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
2. Baltimore 2B Jonathan Schoop is 0-for-20 with six strikeouts in the last five games.
3. Toronto 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) aggravated an injury in Monday’s brawl and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3