MLB Game Preview - Orioles v Blue Jays

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Baltimore0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 250
Toronto0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 160
  W: K. Gausman (1-0)   L: F. Liriano (0-1)   S: Z. Britton (4)
4:07 PM PT5:07 PM MT6:07 PM CT7:07 PM ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 PM MST6:07 PM EST6:37 PM VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 PM CT, April 13, 2017
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 32,957

Orioles visit soft-swinging Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The Baltimore Orioles finally got their offense together Wednesday night.

The Toronto Blue Jays are still waiting for their bats to make some noise.

The two well-established slugging teams will get together for a four-game series at Rogers Centre, starting Thursday night.

Baltimore won both games in a season-opening series at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (5-2) hit five home runs in a 12-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday to gain a split in the two-game set at Fenway Park.

Two of the home runs were by Trey Mancini, who became the first player in club history to hit five home runs in his first 10 major league games. He has three homers in five games this year after hitting two in five games last September.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays (1-7) were held to four hits in a 2-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, who swept the two-game set at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays are off to the worst start in franchise history. They have lost four games by one run, and six of their losses were decided by three runs or fewer.

The Orioles and Blue Jays entered Wednesday 14th and 12th in runs scored and 11th and 14th in home runs. The Orioles were batting .215 and the Blue Jays were at .196.

The Orioles doubled their home run total to 10 with the onslaught Wednesday, with four of their homers coming against Red Sox knuckleballer Steve Wright. That followed an 8-1 loss to the Red Sox.

"I've been watching this team the last few years, ever since I got drafted, and I know if there's a couple of slow offensive games, there's one game where it's just an outpouring of offense. And tonight was the night," Mancini said. "The first inning and after that, you just kind of had that feeling. It was one of those nights, and hitting is really contagious. ... One guy went up, got a hit, and the next guy came and did the same thing. It was really awesome to be a part of that."

The Blue Jays' offense has shown little this season. Toronto has been outscored 34-23.

"With hitting, it's such a fine line -- you want to have passive-aggressiveness," said Josh Donaldson, who returned to the lineup after being limited to pinch-hitting Tuesday due to a tight right calf. "You don't want to get too aggressive because then you get out of control and you start swinging at bad pitches.

"At the same time, you don't want to be too passive because then you're letting too many pitches go by that you could possibly hit. So it's a fine line, and I feel like we haven't quite found that fine line yet, to be passive-aggressive. It's something that hopefully with time is going to get better."

Toronto manager John Gibbons said, "Some of our better hitters are missing their pitch. There are some times, too, when I think we're taking too many fastballs early in the count, and we can swing our way out of it a little bit."

The Blue Jays will send out left-hander Francisco Liriano (0-0, 135.00 ERA) against the Orioles. He is coming off a dreadful first start of the season -- a no-decision in the Blue Jays' 10-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. He allowed three hits (one home run), four walks and five runs in one-third of an inning. It was the shortest outing of his career.

"One of those games where you don't even know what you're doing," said Liriano, who is 2-4 with a 4.34 ERA in nine starts against the Orioles.

Updated April 13, 2017

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