Orioles seek better results in visit with Blue Jays

If the Baltimore Orioles want to return to the postseason they are going to need to start stringing some wins together. They can start on Friday when they open a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Baltimore won the first game of its four-game series with the New York Yankees on Monday, but dropped the final three contests and now finds itself 2 1/2 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for the final wild card spot in the American League.

"Obviously, at this stage losing three is not ideal," second baseman Brian Roberts said after Thursday' 6-5 loss. "I think guys definitely feel a little bit down right now. We'll have to come out with some good energy (Friday)."

Now, the Orioles hit the road for 10 games. They have lost nine of 12 away from home.

"We've just got to start rattling off some wins," first baseman Chris Davis said. "This is definitely going to be a big road trip."

Getting the call in the opener for the Orioles will be righty Jason Hammel, who steps in for the ailing Bud Norris and will be trying for his first win since May 27. In fact, he's 0-6 with a 5.43 over his last 10 starts.

Overall Hammel is 7-8 with a 5.11 ERA.

Norris experienced some elbow discomfort and a timetable for a return is unknown.

"A fatigue and tightness kind of thing," Norris said. "There was no specific day. Obviously getting to this point in the season, we're adding up and so forth. I definitely felt it in my last couple (games), but I wanted to go out there and compete."

Toronto, meanwhile, will counter righty Todd Redmond, who is 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA. Redmond hasn't pitched since Sept. 3, when he won his second straight start in Arizona, as he held the Diamondbacks to a three runs in five innings.

Toronto enters this series following a three-game sweep at the hands of the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Blue Jays had swept Minnesota just prior to that series.

Toronto is 7-6 versus the Orioles this season.