Jays can’t stop woes against the O’s

It was the same old story Monday afternoon for the Toronto Blue Jays. They had their chances, but came up empty once again. A 4-1 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards makes it seven straight that the Jays have dropped, putting them now third in the AL East – 1.5 games back of the Red Sox.

“We get nine hits, we leave nine people on base,” said Jays manager Cito Gaston following the game. “So we’re just not hitting with guys in scoring position.”

No, they are not. Toronto was 1-for-9 with RISP Monday afternoon, the lone hit coming off the bat of Vernon Wells. That may have been the one bright spot for the Jays, as Wells has struggled mightily with runners in scoring position this year – he entered Monday’s contest batting .161 in those situations this season. The RBI was Vernon’s first in 18 games.

The Jays wasted another quality start from left-hander Brian Tallet, who gave up just two runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings.

They also wasted nine hits on offense. Under normal circumstances, nine hits are often good enough to win a ballgame. In fact, prior to their current seven-game skid, the Jays owned a record of 20-3 in games in which they got at least nine hits. During the losing streak? 0-4.

How about games with nine or more hits and a quality start? Prior to yesterday, the Jays had lost just one other game this season under those circumstances. Coincidentally, it was another Tallet start back on May 4 against the Cleveland Indians.

The reason? A lack of timely hitting. It’s already starting to sound like a broken record. During the last seven games, the Jays have gone a combined 8-for-58 (.138) with runners in scoring position, stranding a total of 40 runners in scoring position in the process.

They’ll try again on Tuesday night against the O’s …

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