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News » Orioles-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-02


Orioles-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-02


Orioles-Blue Jays Preview 2009-05-02
Aaron Hill continues to have a fantastic start to the season for the Toronto Blue Jays. Matchups with the Baltimore Orioles have only helped.

Hill, who has helped put the Blue Jays in position to sweep a series for the first time this year, looks to continue his torrid hitting against the Orioles in the finale of a three-game set Sunday.

Limited to just 55 games in 2008 due to a concussion, Hill is batting .376 with five home runs and 20 RBIs this year.

He was nearly the goat after committing a costly error in the 10th inning Saturday, but homered in the bottom half to tie the game at 4 before hitting an RBI single in the 11th to give Toronto (17-9) a 5-4 win over Baltimore (9-15).

"You can't take anything that happens in the field up to the plate, just like you can't take anything that happens at the plate on the field," Hill said.

Hill helped hand the Orioles their fifth straight loss while giving the AL East-leading Blue Jays consecutive victories after they lost three of their previous four.

The second baseman's success against Baltimore is hardly surprising. He's 5-for-11 in this series and is batting .467 (21-for-45) with four home runs, four doubles and nine RBIs in his last 10 games versus the Orioles.

Hill is 3-for-8 against Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.20 ERA), who will take the mound for Baltimore in hopes of helping the team avoid its eighth straight road loss.

"It's either going to tailspin or get better," Orioles closer George Sherrill said. "Hopefully it gets better."

Guthrie has struggled after winning his first two starts, going 0-1 with a 7.47 ERA in his last three. The right-hander gave up three runs and six hits in five innings as Baltimore lost 6-4 to Texas on Monday night.

Guthrie is 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA in seven starts versus the Blue Jays. He's 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts at Toronto.

The Blue Jays will counter with Scott Richmond (3-0, 2.70), who has posted a 1.86 ERA en route to winning three straight starts. The rookie right-hander gave up one run and five hits in seven innings of an 8-1 win over Kansas City on Tuesday night.

Richmond won his only start against Baltimore, allowing four hits in six innings of a 3-0 victory Sept. 26.

He'll be facing an Orioles lineup that went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position Saturday.

Nick Markakis went 0-for-4 with two walks for Baltimore, ending his hitting streak at 17 games. The right fielder is 1-for-11 (.090) in his last three games at Toronto.

Adam Jones had trouble on the road against the Blue Jays prior to this series, hitting .143 (6-for-42) in 12 games. But the 23-year-old center fielder has been hot in recent weeks and remains on a tear in this series, going 5-for-11 and connecting for his fifth homer Saturday.

Jones is batting .432 (16-for-37) over his last eight games, raising his average from .327 to .371 over that span.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 3, 2009

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