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4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 1, 2017
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland  Attendance: 16,627

Orioles look to bounce back vs. Blue Jays

BALTIMORE -- The Toronto Blue Jays found a way to cool off Baltimore in the opener of a four-game series, and they will try to keep the Orioles down when the set continues Friday night.

Toronto snapped Baltimore's seven-game winning streak with an 11-8 victory on Thursday, dropping the Orioles 2 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second spot in the American League wild-card standings.

The setback, however, did not deter the Orioles' confidence.

"The end goal here is getting to the playoffs and the World Series," Orioles shortstop Tim Beckham said.

Beckham has played a key role in the Orioles' resurgence, hitting safely in 27 of 29 games since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the non-waiver trade deadline. Beckham is batting .394 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 27 runs and 19 RBIs for his new team.

In addition to Beckham, the Orioles' Kevin Gausman -- the Friday starter -- is playing a key role recently. The right-hander earned wins in two of his past three starts and has showed solid command after some early struggles.

In his most recent outing, Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, Gausman (10-9, 4.98 ERA) threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed four hits working on six days' rest. He struck out five and walked three. That outing got his ERA below 5.00 for the first time since April 13.

Gausman is 4-3 with a 3.59 ERA in 16 career appearances (11 starts) against Toronto.

"Obviously, to get to where I'm at right now, throwing the ball better than I was in the first half, I wouldn't say that I'm proud of myself, but I'm proud of myself for not just letting it be a whirlwind and a snowball effect and kind of just let the season get away from me," Gausman said.

"We're still playing meaningful games right now, and we need not just me but all the starters to really kind of pick it up. If we're going to make the playoffs, starters are going to have to do their part. That's the biggest part. We have to win games like (Thursday). You get a lead early, you've got to be able to kind of shut the door."

The Blue Jays want to get an extended look at their Friday starter, right-hander Joe Biagini, to determine whether he could be part of the rotation moving forward as opposed to coming out of the bullpen.

He was recalled Sunday from Triple-A Buffalo and started that day against the Minnesota Twins, allowing five runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings. He took the loss as the Blue Jays fell 7-2.

"Good hitters being thrown bad pitches on a couple of occasions," Biagini said after his last outing. "I felt like early in the game I was doing a decent job of attacking, and sometimes you just can't control where the ball goes exactly. Obviously, there were things I could've done better being in those situations."

Biagini, former Rule 5 pick, will get another opportunity in his second career start against the Orioles, who have been hitting balls out of Camden Yards throughout the current 10-game homestand. Biagini is 0-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 career appearances against Baltimore.

The Blue Jays hope to get first baseman Justin Smoak back in the lineup Friday. He has missed the past two games with a sore calf. Smoak is batting .287 with 36 homers and 84 RBIs.

Updated September 1, 2017

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