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BAL@SEA: Saunders hurls eight frames of one-run ball

After splitting Monday's doubleheader with the Blue Jays, coupled with the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Twins, the Orioles trail New York by 1 1/2 games in the American League East and remain in the top AL Wild Card spot ahead of Oakland.

Baltimore had a six-game home-winning streak against the Blue Jays snapped in Monday night's loss, matching the club's longest against Toronto since a 19-game run from 1978-81, but won its first season series against the Blue Jays since 2004 after winning the first game Monday.

The O's, winners of 10 of their past 14 games, will look to continue their strong play and battle for the top spot in the East on Tuesday with lefty Joe Saunders on the mound.

Saunders is 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA over five starts with Baltimore and is coming off his best outing with the club. The 31-year-old threw eight innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against Seattle and took a perfect game into the sixth against Toronto in his first win with the Orioles back on Sept. 3.

"This is so much fun. I'm not even thinking about how we got here. I'm just enjoying the ride," Saunders said about the Orioles' play.

Toronto snapped a season-high-tying seven-game losing streak Monday -- while starter Ricky Romero snapped a 13-game losing streak -- and Tuesday starter Aaron Laffey will look to get out of his own funk.

Laffey hasn't made it out of the fourth in back-to-back starts and matched a career high with five walks in his last outing, a loss, against the Yankees.

"It has been a problem my last couple outings, throwing the ball well the first couple innings and losing that command and falling behind in counts and walking guys," said Laffey, who is 3-6 with a 4.80 ERA.

The left-hander has lost four consecutive decisions and hasn't won since Aug. 5.

Orioles: Jones' career year continues
• In the first game of Monday's doubleheader, Adam Jones went 4-for-4 -- matching a season high for hits -- with a homer and two runs scored. The homer was Jones' 32nd of the season, the run was his 100th and he also swiped his 15th bag of the year.

All three of the milestones are career highs, and Jones became the first Orioles player to score 100 runs in a season since Brian Roberts in 2009, and the first outfielder since Nick Markakis in '08.

• Jim Johnson recorded his Major League-leading 48th save in Wednesday afternoon's win and helped the Orioles improve to 69-0 when leading after seven innings.

Blue Jays: Encarnacion not slowing down
Edwin Encarnacion launched his 41st homer in the nightcap of Monday's doubleheader. The Blue Jays' slugger, who is two home runs shy of the Major League lead behind Josh Hamilton, is looking to give the Blue Jays the MLB leader in homers for the third consecutive season after Jose Bautista was the home run king in both 2010 and '11.

Encarnacion is the first Blue Jays player to hit at least five homers in every month since Aaron Hill in 2009.

• Before Monday's doubleheader, the Blue Jays added relievers Shawn Hill and Bobby Korecky, both of whom pitched at Triple-A Las Vegas this season.

Hill was with Team Canada, which beat Germany, 11-1, on Monday to advance to the 2013 World Baseball Classic, before the promotion.

Worth noting

• Adam Lind and Rajai Davis are the only Blue Jays with at least 10 career at-bats against Saunders and are a combined 13-for-44 (.295).

• The Orioles fell to 25-17 in games when the their opponent started a left-hander this season, but have more wins against lefties than they did in 2010 and '11. Laffey, the second consecutive lefty the O's will face, is 1-0 in one career start against Baltimore. Comments