Live Tracker: Blue Jays – Orioles chat

August 24, 2012, 1:05 PM

Game time: 7:07 p.m.

TV/Radio: Sportsnet East, Ontario, West & Pacific and Sportsnet 590 The Fan 6:30 p.m. ET.

Starters: Toronto’s Carlos Villanueva (6-3, 3.10 ERA) vs. Baltimore’s Zach Britton (2-1, 6.23)

Starting Lineups:

Blue Jays:

Blue Jays: 1. Escobar, SS | 2. Escobar, SS | 3. Escobar, SS | 4. Escobar, SS | 5. Escobar, SS | 6. Escobar, SS | 7. Escobar, SS | 8. Escobar, SS | 9. Escobar, SSThe Game: On the same night The Boss will be taking the stage at Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays on-field leader will return to the team’s lineup in Baltimote after a five-week abscence.

With apologies to Bruce Springsteen, the undisputed boss of the Blue Jays clubhouse is Bautista and his return from a wrist injury is boost to a ball club struggling to score runs.

Right-hander Chad Beck has been optioned to triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista.

Thursday night in his final rehab game with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Bautista homered twice, including a grand slam.

On July 16 when Bautista sustained the wrist injury the Blue Jays were 45-45. Since then they have gone 11-23 and hit .229 as a team according to the Associated Press.

The Blue Jays enter tonight’s series opener in Baltimore having lost five straight following Thursday’s 3-2 loss in 11 innings to Detroit.

As for the surprising Orioles, they continue to battle for one of the AL Wild Card berths, entering play Friday tied with Detroit and Oakland for the second spot.

Carlos Villanueva — who allowed two runs and four hits in 6.1 innings in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Texas — will start for Toronto against Baltimore’s Zach Britton.

Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters was hit with a foul ball in the right shoulder Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day. X-rays were negative.

BELOW: Video of Jose Bautista’s grand slam Thursday night in New Hampshire.

UPDATE: And now, home run No. 2 from Thursday. Fist bump to @lottonbaseball for heads-up.

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