Blue Jays-Orioles: Vernon Wells Homers in Second Game Back

KP WeeSenior Writer IJune 8, 2008

Vernon Wells went three for four with a home run and scored two runs, as the Toronto Blue Jays finally ended a four-game losing streak, beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

The win salvaged the finale of the three-game series for the Jays, who had blown a big lead in the opener and then got blown out in the second.

Wells, who had just come off the DL a day earlier and entered the lineup, replacing injured Shannon Stewart in the second inning the same day, has now gone five for seven since his return.

Meanwhile, ace Roy Halladay won his eighth of the year, and is now 5-0 in his last five starts. Halladay surrendered four runs and pitched into the eighth for the victory.

B.J. Ryan pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 13th save, shaking off his previous two outings in which he blew both saves and was tagged with losses.

For the Jays, they'll have to continue to win in order to have a shot at a postseason spot in the junior circuit.

Toronto (33-22) is six-and-a-half games back of first-place Boston in the AL East, and the Red Sox just keep winning, having gone 8-2 in their last 10.

The Tampa Bay Rays are second, five full games ahead of Toronto, who are still tied with the surging New York Yankees.

The Jays face a certain must-sweep situation as baseball's worst team, the 22-41 Seattle Mariners, limp into Toronto for a three-game series starting on Monday.

There is no way the Jays can afford to lose any of these three games to the dreadful Mariners, who like Toronto, can't score runs. The Mariners are 8-22 away from SAFECO Field.

Despite the strong pitching, Toronto is surprisingly only 10-14 in one-run games, with the tenth victory coming Sunday.

Expect all three games with Seattle to be low scoring, one-run games. On Monday, Jesse Litsch (7-2, 3.45 ERA) looks for his eighth win of the year as he takes on Jarrod Washburn (2-7, 6.56), who hasn't won in over a month.

Dustin McGowan (4-4, 4.26) takes on Carlos Silva (3-6, 5.96), who has gone 0-6 in his last 9 outings, on Tuesday, before Shaun Marcum (5-3, 2.52) goes up against the overrated "King" Felix Hernandez (4-5, 3.07).

The sense of urgency for Toronto comes from the fact that they are so far out of the race as baseball's best team, the Chicago Cubs, will visit after the Seattle series.