TORONTO- The Baltimore Orioles will head across the border to start post All-Star break play with a three game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles enter the three-game series with a record of 28-69 which lands them in last place in the AL East, 39.5 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox (68-30). The Blue Jays first “half” of the season was a struggle as well and they will enter the series with a record of 43-52 which is good for fourth place in the division. They sit 23.5 games behind Boston.
Last meeting: The last time that these two clubs met was a series to forget for the Orioles as the Blue Jays swept the four-game set at Rogers Centre from June 7-10. The Orioles are 1-6 against Toronto this season and are just 2-8 over their last ten in Toronto dating back to last season.
In that four-game sweep, the Orioles dropped two extra inning games including a 5-4 decision in the opener that saw Brad Brach squander a 4-1 ninth inning lead to get the game into extras where the Blue Jays would win on a Aledmys Diaz single off Miguel Castro.
The Birds dropped a 5-1 decision in game two of the series with the Jays. This loss accounted for one of their 26 games so far this season in which they have scored 1 or less runs. Toronto took the third game 4-3 in 10 innings and finished the sweep with a 13-3 drubbing in which Alex Cobb was beaten like a drum to the tune of nine runs on 11 hits over just 3.2 innings.
Toronto leads the all time series 334-293.
Game times and pitching matchups:
Notes on the Blue Jays:
- Happ, who will take the ball in game three for Toronto, is currently the subject of trade rumors with the Phillies and the Yankees reportedly interested. The 35-year-old lefty is likely to find a new home before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
- Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson has struggled mightily this year for Toronto. He has played in just 36 games due to various injuries and is hitting only .234 with five homers and 16 RBI on the year.
- The 2018 Blue Jays offense has been paced by Yangervis Solarte who is hitting .241 with 16 home rubs and 48 RBI in his first year with the club.
Notes on the Orioles:
- Bundy will be looking for his first win since June 23. He will be making his third start since coming off of the disabled list with an ankle injury. In his last two starts since returning from the DL Bundy has given up 10 earned runs over 7.1 innings pitched.
- The Orioles will be looking for someone to step up at the plate with the trade of Machado. Machado played a part in 113 of the Orioles 345 runs on the season. The team is 29th in the MLB and runs scored and just lost roughly 33% of that already meager production.
- It remains to be seen who else will be traded before the trade deadline, but the Orioles are expected to be active in trying to move closer Zach Britton, reliever Brad Brach, and the longest-tenured Oriole, Adam Jones.
Image Credit: Associated Press