Gausman, O's can't find footing in Toronto

Gausman, O's can't find footing in Toronto

TORONTO -- The Orioles had better figure out a way to win in Toronto. Fast.

Baltimore, bested for the sixth time in their past seven games at the Rogers Centre with Tuesday's 5-1 loss, are on a make-or-break two-city road trip. Their latest defeat, coupled with a win by Detroit, whittled the O's lead for the second American League Wild Card spot to one game, and it put them two games back of Toronto for the first Wild Card.

"This is obviously a good division rival, but the last few years, they've figured out what works for them. They've been able to go out every year and put a good product on the field," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. "So, we've got to figure out a way to beat them."

If the Orioles maintain their standing in the Wild Card race and the Blue Jays hold onto the top spot, the AL Wild Card Game would be played at Rogers Centre. Baltimore has lost 12 of its last 17 games in Toronto dating back to last season, with the Blue Jays out-scoring them, 110-88, over that stretch. In eight games this year, the Orioles' rotation has pitched to a 8.18 ERA.

"You try to make those big guys not beat you and you can kind of get overwhelmed with some of the other guys in their lineup," said Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, who allowed four earned runs -- two on a first-inning homer following a leadoff walk -- over six innings.

"Me against them this year, the first inning hasn't been very good in all three of my starts. Especially when you walk the leadoff guy, you're kind of putting yourself in a bad situation."

Gausman is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts against Toronto, allowing 12 runs in 15 1/3 innings. But he's hardly alone in his struggles north of the border, as the Orioles are 2-6 in the season series in Canada.

"We know we have to win to stay," Gausman said of an Orioles team that will end the regular season in New York this weekend. "With the two teams left that we have to play, we're definitely up against the wall."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.