Simon under the dome - if it's closed

The Orioles couldn't win at Rogers Centre. Now they can't lose.

They've won two straight games in Toronto after losing 16 in a row, proving that baseball really does go in cycles.

I'm just used to the Orioles blowing out a tire.

They'll have Alfredo Simon on the mound tonight, trying to register his third consecutive quality start.

Do you remember Simon's last visit to Rogers Centre on Sept. 26, 2010? He was ejected after drilling Jose Bautista, who left last night's game after being hit in the head by Jake Arrieta.

Here's a little reminder.

Rick VandenHurk hit Bautista earlier in that September game. Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum nailed Luke Scott.

Simon was suspended three games. Manager Buck Showalter was suspended for one. Marcum was fined. He also was furious with Simon.

Here's another reminder.

And here's video of the Bautista at-bat against Simon:

Marcum is gone. Scott is gone. VandenHurk is gone. Bautista is day-to-day.

Derrek Lee had four hits last night, including a home run, and five RBIs. He's viewed within the organization and outside of it as a more likely trade candidate at the Aug. 31 deadline because he'll probably clear waivers.

Well, not if he keeps swinging the bat like he did last night.

J.J. Hardy has 16 home runs after belting two more last night. Imagine how many he'd have if he didn't miss a month with the oblique injury.

Maybe he should be hitting cleanup.

The Orioles came close to trading for Jason Bartlett at the winter meetings before deciding to hold onto Nolan Reimold and make a more aggressive push for Hardy. Bartlett began last night hitting .248 with one homer, 23 RBIs and a .617 OPS for the Padres. He also had 17 errors - 15 more than Hardy, who only cost the Orioles minor league relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

Reimold hit his sixth home run last night and is trying to convince the Orioles that he should be the regular left fielder next season. Right now, I'm convinced that he should be out there most nights through September.

Reimold is 1-for-13 lifetime against left-hander Ricky Romero, who starts tonight for the Blue Jays, but he has a home run and three RBIs.

Vladimir Guerrero will be batting cleanup again. He's 10-for-20 against Romero.

Nick Markakis is 11-for-32 (.344) with three doubles, a homer and seven RBIs. Matt Wieters is 4-for-20. Robert Andino is 1-for-13.

Down on the farm, LJ Hoes hit his first two home runs last night for Double-A Bowie.

Cesar Izturis went 1-for-3 with a strikeout and an error at second base. It doesn't appear that the Orioles are in a rush to activate him from the disabled list. It might happen in New York.

Jonathan Schoop hit his first home run with Single-A Frederick as part of his 4-for-4 night. Manny Machado had a double, triple and RBI, and his average is up to .278.

Sean Gleason picked up his 29 save, which makes it a little easier to ignore the 4.60 ERA.

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