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Preview: Blue Jays at Orioles

Current Conditions – Baltimore
CLOUDY 86 °F
Wind: NNW 3
5-Day Forecast GAME: Toronto Blue Jays (90-65) at Baltimore Orioles (76-79)
DATE/TIME: Monday, September 28 – 7:05 PM EST
WHERE: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A

The Toronto Blue Jays are on the verge of clinching the American League East for the first time since 1993 while the Baltimore Orioles are gently sinking to the bottom. The Blue Jays will try to take advantage of the scuffling Orioles when they visit Baltimore for the opener of a four-game series on Monday.

The Orioles (76-79) entered the weekend with a .500 record and an outside shot at the second AL wild-card before they were shut out in three straight games at the Boston Red Sox. Baltimore managed 12 hits – 10 singles – and managed to advance only two runners as far as third base in the series. The Blue Jays (90-65) are winners of four in a row following MVP candidate Josh Donaldson’s walk-off homer against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday and have already clinched a postseason spot while sitting four games ahead of the New York Yankees in the East with seven games left in the regular season. Toronto will send Marco Estrada to the mound on Monday while the Orioles counter with struggling right-hander Chris Tillman.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SNET (Toronto), MASN2 (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marco Estrada (13-8, 3.13 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Chris Tillman (10-11, 5.16)

Estrada has put himself right behind David Price in a potential postseason rotation by allowing two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts. The 32-year-old followed up eight scoreless innings on Sept. 17 by holding the New York Yankees to two runs in 6 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision on Tuesday. Estrada is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in five games – three starts – against Baltimore this season.

Tillman ended a string of six straight winless starts by holding Washington to three runs and six hits over as many innings on Wednesday. That gave the 27-year-old his first quality start in his last six outings. Tillman was ripped for six runs on eight hits – three home runs – in three innings at Toronto on Sept. 6 and is 0-4 with a 15.50 ERA and nine home runs allowed in 18 total innings against the Blue Jays this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Orioles LH Zach Britton (lat strain) appeared for the first time since Sept. 20 on Sunday and worked a scoreless inning.

2. Donaldson has scored eight runs in the last six games and is up to 121 runs scored on the season to go along with 122 RBIs.

3. Baltimore was shut out in three straight games for the first time since July 29-31, 1957.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 12, Orioles 2