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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, September 5th (All times Eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (76-59) at Toronto Blue Jays (60-75), 7:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.31) Toronto - Brandon Morrow (8-5, 2.93)

(Sports Network) - Right-hander Brandon Morrow aims for a second gem against the Baltimore Orioles in as many starts tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays host them in the finale of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.

The 28-year-old Californian, a former first-round pick of the Seattle Mariners, was a 4-1 winner over the Orioles in a May 30 start in which he allowed a run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

That victory bumped his career record against Baltimore to 3-3 in 15 appearances and dropped his earned run average against the Orioles to 4.14 with 58 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.

In four starts since, Morrow, who subsequently missed two months with injury, is 2-2 while allowing 17 hits and six runs in 20 1/3 innings.

For Baltimore, rookie right-hander Miguel Gonzalez faces the Blue Jays for the second time in his 14th career appearance.

The 28-year-old Mexican made his major-league debut against Toronto on May 29 at Rogers Centre and allowed a run on four hits in a 3 1/3-inning relief outing.

Gonzalez posted a 2.31 earned run average in three bullpen performances to begin the season before transferring to the rotation, where he's started 10 times and gone 5-3 while pitching at least seven innings four times.

He was a 6-1 winner over the New York Yankees in his most recent start, in which he tossed seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball with a walk and nine strikeouts on Aug. 31.

The Orioles are 7-3 in games he's pitched.

On Tuesday, the Orioles shut out the Blue Jays for the second straight day in a 12-0 win and picked up their fifth victory in six games, tying the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East. The Yankees have struggled as of late, while Tampa Bay moved just 1 1/2 games off the pace.

Zach Britton (5-1) tossed another stellar outing for the O's. He scattered four hits and a pair of walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings to win his fourth straight start.

Over that span, Britton has pitched to a 0.96 earned run average with 29 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings.

"I'm starting to get a better feel for all my pitches," Britton said. "I'm just trying to be as aggressive as possible."

Mark Reynolds blasted a three-run home run, his fifth in his last five games, and knocked in four runs in the second installment of this three-game set.

Carlos Villanueva (7-5) received the loss for the fifth time in his last six decisions. He gave up a season-high six runs on seven hits.

"They capitalized on elevated pitches inside the strike zone," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the Orioles against Villanueva, who lasted 6 2/3 innings.

The Orioles won seven of the first 11 games between the teams in 2012, including a sweep of a two-game set in Baltimore on Aug. 24-25. Toronto won the 2011 season series, 12 games to six.

09/05 10:30:29 ET

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