TORONTO — Earlier this week the Orioles (18-41) kicked off their current road trip with a pair of interleague wins over the Mets. Say what you will about the level of competition but the O’s put together two quality wins on the shoulders of some great starts by Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy. The pair of wins wasn’t attractive from an offensive perspective but still good enough for the teams second road series win of the season.

Before I give myself a headache thinking about how long it will take the O’s to win a series outside of Maryland or New York, let’s switch our focus to this weekend’s matchup against the Blue Jays (26-34). Toronto finds themselves at the bottom of the AL East as well, but still seven games above the abysmal Orioles.

It wasn’t long ago when these two teams were trading punches in a handful of exciting matchups. Jose Bautista butted heads with the Orioles pitching staff for years before the rivalry reached its peak with a thrilling extra inning wildcard game in 2016. Less than two years later and things feel a lot more tame. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but fans may be crossing their fingers for some of that excitement and tension to reappear this season as the Orioles continue to become less and less interesting to watch.

Last meeting: The Orioles hosted the Blue Jays back in early April after opening the season with a 4-6 record. They had just taken three of four against the Yankees and were looking to turn their early season woes around. However, Toronto would end up taking the first two games before the O’s could scrap together a win in the series finale. The attendance at Camden Yards during the series was the lowest of the season with an average of less than 9,000 fans showing up for each game.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Thursday, June 7, 7:07 pm – David Hess (2-2, 3.47 ERA) vs Jaime Garcia (2-4, 6.08 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Friday, June 8, 7:07 pm – Andrew Cashner (2-7, 5.02 ERA) vs J.A. Happ (7-3, 4.08 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Saturday, June 9, 1:07 pm – Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.63 ERA) vs Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.48 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4: Sunday, June 10, 1:07 pm – Alex Cobb (2-7, 6.19 ERA) vs Marco Estrada (2-6, 5.29 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on Orioles:

  • Jonathan Schoop is just one of many Orioles players in the midst of a slump. The second baseman hit right around .230 in both April and May and missed a good chunk of time due to injury. So far in June Schoop has collected four hits in three games which could signal toward a much needed turnaround. However, Schoop put together similar numbers last month when he went 9/31 with nine RBI’s in his first seven games of May.
  • Zach Britton made his third rehab appearance on Tuesday night and continued to be effective. The O’s reliever worked through an inning and a third, striking out one and allowing no hits. He did hit a batter but never let it come back to bite him. Britton is still on track to potentially rejoin the Orioles next week at the earliest.

Notes on Blue Jays:

  • The Blue Jays expect to get Josh Donaldson back at some point during this weekends series. Donaldson landed on the disabled list at the end of May with tightness in his left calf muscle but is now ready to return to the field. The former American league MVP has hit .270 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI’s against the Orioles in his career.
  • J.A. Happ has arguably been the best starter in the Toronto rotation so far this season. Despite being one of the most consistent members of the pitching staff, his difference between his home and road starts is staggering. Happ holds a 4.91 ERA in seven starts at the Rogers Centre, but his road ERA is just 2.97 in five starts.

Image credit: Evan Habeeb / USA Today Sports