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Baseball is hard enough as is, but when you're constantly matched up against playoff-caliber opponents, things get even harder. 

Toronto's been tested more than any other team in the division, yet the Blue Jays have still managed a 30-27 record. All those wins come without playing a single game against the lowly Baltimore Orioles and their American League worst 21-38 record. 

For comparison, the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox have played Baltimore a combined 23 times this year. 

On Sunday, the Blue Jays wrapped up their second series of the year against the Houston Astros, who lead the league in hits and team batting average, but strike out fewer than any other major league club.  

The Astros put the hurt on Blue Jays starter Steven Matz early, with home runs to start the first two innings of Sunday's 6-3 loss. 

For Matz, it was just the second time this season he couldn't finish the fifth inning. The left-hander allowed the first batter to reach in every inning he pitched and gave up eight hits, four runs and walked four batters. 

With the loss, Matz now owns a 4.50 ERA. He's pitched better than the numbers suggest (a 3.66 expected ERA, per Baseball Savant) and nine of Matz's 12 starts have come against teams with winning records. 

"A lot of times I come out of the game and I'm like, 'Man, I just feel like I'm throwing the ball a little bit better. I feel like I could go deeper into games,'" Matz said. 

"The biggest thing for me is just not to panic, recognize I'm doing some things well, I can do some things better, and then just take that mentality all the way," he said. 

A tough schedule is one thing, but winning baseball is nearly impossible when you boot the ball on defense. 

Toronto rallied some late offense in the eighth inning of Sunday's game, but had multiple defensive lapses just an inning prior. Carl Edwards Jr. threw a wild pitch, Randal Grichuk and Marcus Semien collided on a pop-up, and Rowdy Tellez kicked an easy groundball that allowed an important run to score.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo chalked up some defensive miscommunications to the conditions at Sahlen Field. 

"It was pretty windy today," Montoyo said. "[The wind] was playing tricks on a couple of fly balls."

Danny Jansen exits with hamstring injury

Jansen left the game with a hamstring strain after sliding head-first into third base to end the third inning. McGuire replaced him at catcher. 

If Jansen hits the injured list, Riley Adams is the likely option for a call-up. Adams is slashing .246/.397/.614 in 73 at-bats in Triple A

Other injury notes

With a series against the dangerous Chicago White Sox starting Tuesday, followed by a trip to Fenway Park on the weekend, a much-need wave of reinforcements isn't far off. 

Third baseman Cavan Biggio (neck) homered in his first rehab game with Triple A Buffalo/Trenton on Sunday. The expectation is that he could join the Blue Jays sometime during the upcoming road trip in either Chicago or Boston. 

Ryan Borucki (forearm) has missed nearly a month, but is now "pain-free," according to Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins. The left-hander will now begin a throwing progression plan.

George Springer (quad) is taking ground balls and fly balls in the outfield, as well as running the bases. The team is "very close" to discussions about a rehab assignment, per Atkins.  

Thomas Hatch (elbow/side) threw two innings in Triple A as the Blue Jays plan to build him up as a starting pitcher before joining the team.  

Up Next:

LHP Robbie Ray vs. LHP Carlos Rodon - Tuesday @ 8:10 PM ET

After an off day Monday, Toronto starts a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. 

Rodon is one of the league's best pitchers this season. In nine starts, he's pitched to a 1.98 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and is striking out 13.2 batters per nine innings. 

Further Reading

When it all clicks, the Blue Jays are AL's dark horse

Blue Jays will reach 85% vaccine uptake on Monday

Ross Stripling discusses his history tipping pitches