Coming off a rare win against their division rival, Adam Jones and the Baltimore Orioles are hoping to keep the momentum going against a pitcher who has had their number the last two times he's faced them.
Jones and the Orioles close a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, facing Ricky Romero for the second time in less than two weeks.Baltimore seemed on the verge of dropping to 3-8 against Toronto (57-56) in 2011 before rallying for a 6-2 victory Saturday. The Orioles (44-66) didn't have a baserunner through the first five innings, but took a 4-2 lead on Jones' three-run homer -- his career-high 20th -- in the sixth.The win was Baltimore's fourth in its last 13 games and snapped a three-game losing streak, during which the Orioles were held to 10 runs. Despite those struggles, Jones is hitting .370 in that 13-game stretch, and he has two homers with six RBIs in this series."We haven't really put up some runs lately, so it was good to take the lead," Jones said. "It was a big home run for the team and for myself."He and his teammates could have a tough time keeping things going against Romero (9-9, 2.98 ERA), who has limited Baltimore to one run and seven hits with 21 strikeouts over 16 1/3 innings while winning his last two starts against the Orioles.Romero is also looking to win his third straight start overall. After surrendering four hits in 8 1/3 innings of a 3-0 win over Baltimore on July 27, he allowed one hit -- a solo home run -- in eight innings of a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday."You just continue to go out there and continue to work and I think I'm looking forward start to start," Romero told the Blue Jays' official website. "You take it one day at a time and continue to get stronger."Jones has had good success in his career against the left-hander, batting .324 (11 for 34), as has Vladimir Guerrero, who is 10 for 24 (.417). However, the two are a combined 5 for 22 against him this year.Romero will try to help the Blue Jays avoid losing their second straight series.He wouldn't mind seeing an end to Jose Bautista's power drought against the Orioles, which continued Saturday as he went 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly. He's hitting .167 against Baltimore this year without a home run in 11 games.Bautista has at least three homers against each of his other division opponents.He has a homer and a single in five career at-bats against Alfredo Simon (3-4, 3.83), who will oppose Romero again after starting July 27 against the Blue Jays. He allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings in that outing.Simon had lost back-to-back starts before limiting Kansas City to one run and four hits in seven innings of an 8-2 victory Tuesday.