BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays left fielder Corey Patterson has found a home batting second in the order.
Manager John Farrell has continually kept him in that spot, and Patterson has responded by having one of his finest seasons as a Major Leaguer. So far, Patterson is batting .294 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Farrell has seen Patterson's confidence improve, knowing that he'll be in the lineup each day.
In Saturday night's game against the Orioles, Patterson went 4-for-5 with a homer, and reached base twice with bunts. Farrell likes that type of versatility and said Patterson is a tremendous asset with his ability to move runners into scoring position.
"He's always been a very good bunter," Farrell said. "In the last couple of years, he's gotten away from it. We encouraged it in the off-season when we signed him."
It's been a long road for Patterson, who was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Kennesaw High in Georgia, where he was a First-Team All-American and the third overall pick in the 1998 Draft. He accepted a minor league position with the Orioles prior to the beginning the 2010 season. He was eventually called up to Baltimore and hit .269 with eight home runs in 90 games. He also stole 21 bases.
This off-season, he signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, and the move has paid dividends for both sides.
"He's got a way to impact the game by not getting the ball past the mound," Farrell said. "He also has the ability to hook the ball through the 3-4 hole. He knows when he gets to the ballpark he's gonna be in the lineup. This is someone who was touted as one of the best players in the game coming out of the draft a couple of years ago."
Davis impressing Blue Jays with defense
BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis has impressed his coaches and teammates with his defense this season.
Davis has started in all 39 games he has appeared and has a .980 field percentage. He also has 100 putouts and two assists. Blue Jays manager John Farrell has liked the way Davis has progressed so far this season.
"What we've seen from Rajai, as we saw in Spring Training, the more repetition he gets in center field, the more consistent his routes were," Farrell said. "Very good defense he has shown us out there. Rajai's done an excellent job for us."
Davis has also been productive at the plate, batting .288 with a homer and 15 RBI. He has also been an asset when he gets on base, leading the team with 18 stolen bases. He has only been caught stealing seven times and has 25 runs.
"He's felt comfortable where he's been in the lineup," Farrell said. "He's allowed to run at will. His speed allows him to affect the game both defensively and on the bases."
Blue Jays look to continue dominance of O's
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have dominated the Orioles over the past two seasons, winning 16 of the 20 games, and they hope the trend carries over this year.
Toronto has also outscored the Orioles 104-60 over that stretch and out-homered them 35-10. The success is even more poignant because it has allows the Blue Jays to pick up key wins against an opponent in the American League East, where they are in fourth place and trail the first-place Yankees by four games.
The Blue Jays will try to take the weekend series against Baltimore on Sunday after losing 5-3 on Saturday night when Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam in the sixth inning off lefty Ricky Romero.
Toronto has not dropped a season series against Baltimore since 2004.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell could not pinpoint any specific reason for his team's success against Baltimore. However, he hopes the winning will continue this season.
"Sometimes teams just match up better against others," Farrell said. "I think Baltimore has always been a very good fastball hitting team. But to pinpoint any one reason, it might be one of those things in baseball where it runs in cycles at times. It could be the combination of personnel on those rosters during that stretch."
Toronto also leads the all-time series against the Orioles, 264-226.
Jose Bautista has now reached safely in 47 of 50 games this season. ... J.P. Arencibia leads all American League catchers in total bases with 79 and leads all American League rookies in RBIs (30) and walks (15). ... Over the past two seasons, Toronto leads all Major League clubs with 320 home runs, 34 more than the second-place Yankees.
Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.