Series Preview: Drama Queen Blue Jays enter Camden Yards for weekend tangle with Birds

Following a disappointing road trip that saw the Orioles finish 1-6, the Birds will serve up some home cooking this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles currently sport a 23-16 record, and are in second place in the American League East. In the division standings, Baltimore is two games behind the Yankees, who hold a 24-13 record.

The Blue Jays have been underwhelming this season, sitting at 17-24, which is last place in the AL East.

Game 1: Friday, May 19, 7:05 pm – Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.95 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-0, 2.89 ERA) – MASN

Game 2: Saturday, May 20, 7:35 pm – Mike Bolsinger (0-2, 6.10 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-3, 7.19 ERA) – MASN 2

Game 3: Sunday, May 20, 1:35 pm – Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.60 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (1-1, 3.02 ERA) – MASN

Road Woes: The Orioles seem to be a different team on the road than they are at Camden Yards. At home, the Birds are 13-3, and on the road they are 10-12. The O’s have played more games on the road than any other team in the American League. The Blue Jays have had their road struggles as well, with an 8-13 mark.

Head-To-Head: The Orioles are 5-1 against the Blue Jays this season. The O’s opened the ’17 season against the Blue Jays, sweeping a two-game series at Camden Yards. A week later, Baltimore took three of four in Toronto.

Drama Queens: The Blue Jays have gotten themselves into some hot water in their current series with the Atlanta Braves. In Wednesday night’s game, Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar yelled a homophobic slur at Braves pitcher Jason Motte after Motte struck Pillar out. As a result of his actions, Pillar has been suspended for two games, meaning he will miss at least one game of this series.

Pillar issued an apology on Twitter after Wednesday’s events:

Also on Wednesday, Jose Bautista did his signature “bat flip” while hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning. Bautista did this despite Toronto being down four runs. The Braves went on to win, 8-4.

Freddie Freeman, star player on the Braves, was hit by a pitch on Thursday night and broke his wrist as a result. He is expected to miss eight weeks, and the Braves cannot be thrilled about this given the antics of the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran hit Bautista in his first at-bat on Thursday night, in retaliation of Bautista’s bat-flip. However, Toronto picked up an easy win after losing their previous three games.

The Blue Jays have a history of drams with the Orioles, mainly centered around Bautista and his theatrics.

Notes on the Blue Jays:

  • The Blue Jays are currently on a seven-game road trip, with Baltimore being the second stop in-between Atlanta and Milwaukee. So far on the trip, the Jays are 1-2.
  • Infielder Devon Travis has a four-game hit streak, going 8-for-13 in that span. He leads the majors with 12 doubles in the month of May.
  • In two starts against Baltimore so far this season, Estrada has allowed just two runs on nine hits, five walks, and 12 strikeouts.
  • Pillar has a career .309 average against the Orioles, but just .232 at Camden Yards. Bautista is .243/.202.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • The Birds have lost six of their last seven, and each of those losses was just by one run.
  • During this seven-game road trip, Baltimore pitching has allowed five or more runs five times. Before Dylan Bundy’s six-inning start on Thursday, Orioles starting pitchers failed to finish the fifth inning in four straight starts. This has caused the Orioles bullpen, already without All-Star closer Zach Britton, to struggle mightily. Brad Brach’s ERA is up to 4.05, Donnie Hart allowed three runs on five hits in Tuesday’s game, and Mychal Givens walked three straight batters in his last appearance. That led to a grand slam, given up by Brach.
  • Since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday, Wellington Castillo has six hits, three RBI, and three walks. Chris Davis had a monster road trip, hitting five home runs in seven games. In the 13-inning game against Detroit on Tuesday, he finished with two home runs and four RBI, including the go-ahead two-run blast in the 13th inning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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