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TOR@HOU: Happ fans six over seven innings

The Orioles had been building on their American League East lead, aided by the Blue Jays' struggles during the last few days.

The Blue Jays snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday. The O's had won three straight before falling to the Jays and now lead the AL East by four games. On Thursday at Rogers Centre, Baltimore and Toronto will cap a three-game set when the clubs send Miguel Gonzalez and J.A. Happ to the mound.

Happ has been quietly stellar for the Jays since the All-Star break, allowing just three earned runs over his last three starts. In a June 15 start against Baltimore, his only start against the O's this season, he allowed seven hits and a run while fanning six over six frames.

"I think the goal is to try to stay healthy and get out there," Happ said after his last start, when he allowed one run on three hits over seven innings against the Astros. "I felt like I could help contribute. Just trying to stay there and give this thing a good shot, these next two months."

Gonzalez had a rough go of things on Saturday, surrendering four runs and seven hits over five innings against Seattle. He allowed two homers in the loss.

Prior to that, though, Gonzalez had given up six earned runs over 29 2/3 innings, which spanned four starts. Baltimore's starters have been strong as of late, posting the second-best ERA of all AL rotations (2.91) since the All-Star break entering Wednesday.

"We've just got to go out there and try to do our best," Gonzalez said following his last start. "We've been doing a pretty good job. Everyone's been going deep in ballgames except for tonight's game, but it's going to happen. We can't be perfect all of the time."

Orioles: Jimenez throws successful bullpen session
Ubaldo Jimenez said he had his "best bullpen of the whole year" after throwing a 35-pitch side session prior to Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays. He's been on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle since July 13 and could rejoin the O's this weekend.

"I think, first thing, I didn't feel anything in my ankle," said Jimenez. "I was able to get on the mound and throw everything I had without trying too hard. Everything was working."

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he knows what he'll do with Jimenez once he's ready to come off the DL, but he wants more time to see how things play out. Chris Tillman is scheduled to start Friday against the Cardinals, but Saturday and Sunday's starters haven't been announced.

"If you held a gun to my head, I know what we're going to do," said Showalter. "But I want to get some more information that the game will give us."

Blue Jays: Lawrie's MRI results will get another look
A dislocated finger put Brett Lawrie on the shelf for six weeks, and the Blue Jays hope another injury won't do the same.

Toronto activated Lawrie from the disabled list Tuesday, and the infielder felt his back tighten up during batting practice. Three innings in, he exited when it didn't feel any better. On Wednesday, the Jays sent him for an MRI.

The club didn't say what the infielder's MRI showed. But a team spokesman said the results would be compared to an MRI Lawrie underwent in 2012, which was for a strained oblique.

Doctors in Florida will compare the results from the MRI Lawrie took Wednesday to the one from 2012. They'll send it to Toronto for a second opinion.

"We'll have a little better idea tomorrow," manager John Gibbons said. "We want the doctors in Florida to read his MRI."

Lawrie missed 30 games in 2012 with that strained oblique. Danny Valencia and Munenori Kawasaki will likely play third in his absence.

Worth noting
• Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League on Thursday.

Lind has missed the last month with a fractured right foot. Gibbons didn't give an exact time for Lind's return, but it's possible he could return Monday.

• Showalter said Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy threw the "best outing he's had" since beginning to rehab from Tommy John surgery. Bundy pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Frederick on Tuesday, allowing five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

"Unlike, I'd say, 50 percent I've dealt with over the years, he's had no setbacks. None," said Showalter.

• Current Blue Jays are hitting .160/.223/.266 combined against Gonzalez.

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