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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, September 24th (All times Eastern)

Toronto Blue Jays (66-85) at Baltimore Orioles (87-65), 4:05 p.m. & 7:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Game One: Toronto - Henderson Alvarez (9-13, 4.87) Baltimore - Steve Johnson (3-0, 1.91)

Game Two: Toronto - Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.72) Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (12-9, 3.98)

(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles will continue their quest for a postseason berth when they play a doubleheader versus the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

The Orioles haven't been to the playoffs since 1997 and are playing Monday's twinbill after an Aug. 26 contest was postponed because of rain.

Baltimore had a season-best six-game winning streak come to an end with Sunday's 2-1 loss at Boston in the finale of a three-game series. Cody Ross' RBI double off of Luis Ayala proved to be the game-winning run.

Chris Tillman's six innings of one-run ball were wasted for the wild card- leading Orioles, who won their 16th straight extra-inning affair on Saturday and were aiming for seven straight wins for the first time since an eight-game run April 22-May 1, 2005.

"He gave us a really good chance," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Tillman. "If we did a couple of thing defensively, he would have probably pitched seven or eight (innings)."

Manny Machado drove in Baltimore's only run and Chris Davis posted a team-best two hits in a losing cause.

Showalter's club is back at Camden Yards for a seven-game homestand versus the Blue Jays and Red Sox, and sits one game behind the New York Yankees for the American League East lead.

O's rookie Steve Johnson draws the start in the first game and is 3-0 with a 1.91 earned run average in 10 games (2 starts). He defeated Toronto back on Aug. 25 in an 8-2 win and allowed two runs in six innings. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in seven games (2 starts) at home.

Another rookie will toe the rubber for Baltimore in the nightcap, as Wei-Yin Chen is slated to take the hill. Chen, though, is 0-2 in his last five starts and did not factor in the outcome of a 4-2 win at Seattle last Tuesday, when he permitted a pair of runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The left-handed Chen, who is 12-9 with a 3.98 ERA in 30 starts, is 6-5 in 16 home assignments and has never faced the Blue Jays.

Toronto has lost six straight and 10 of 12 games, and was swept in back-to- back series against the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Blue Jays' slide continued with Sunday's 3-0 loss against the Rays, as Chad Jenkins pitched well in defeat and yielded a run in five innings.

"He did a very good job for us," Jays manager John Farrell said on the club's website. "From the second inning on, he did a much better job of controlling the strike zone in the bottom half. He came out early, kind of overthrowing a little bit, and some balls were elevated, but still, the one run allowed, two hits -- an outstanding job on his part."

Yunel Escobar had three hits and Anthony Gose went 2-for-4 in the loss.

Toronto is 0-6 on a 10-game road trip and will send Henderson Alvarez to the bump in the first game of this twinbill. Alvarez had a two-game winning streak stopped in Wednesday's 4-2 loss at Yankee Stadium and was touched for three runs in seven innings. He is just 2-6 in his last eight decisions and 9-13 with a 4.87 earned run average in 29 starts.

Alvarez, a right-hander, is 0-1 in two meetings with the Orioles this season and 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in four career starts against them.

Ricky Romero has been brutal lately and gets the call this evening. Romero, who hasn't won since June 22 at Miami, is 0-13 with a 7.42 earned run average in his last 15 starts with the Jays going 1-14 in that time.

Romero pitched well in a 2-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday and did not figure into the decision with six innings of one-run ball. The southpaw defeated Baltimore back on May 29, giving up four runs in six frames of an 8-6 victory, and is 7-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 13 career starts in this series.

The Orioles are 9-5 against the Blue Jays this season and have won five straight matchups between the teams at Camden Yards.

09/24 10:30:05 ET