Offense stays hot as Orioles pick up 11-2 win over Rays

BALTIMORE — On Saturday night the Orioles offense picked up where they left off the night before and continued to dominate the Rays pitching staff with a continuous onslaught of runs. The score was close through the first three innings but the O’s offense would end up pulling away in route to an 11-2 win.

Joey Rickard led the way for the Baltimore offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBI. The right-fielder hit a solo home run in the second inning and added a pair of doubles in the fourth and sixth. Rickard may not play everyday but he sure has seen a great deal of success against the Rays so far this season. The last time Rickard picked up three hits in a game was on May 13 when the O’s defeated the Rays 17-1. Coincidentally he had five RBI in that game too.

Trey Mancini also turned in a great evening at the plate by recording the first four-hit game of his career. It all started in the second inning when Mancini launched a two-run homer into the left field seats to put the O’s up 2-1. His next three hits were all singles but he would come around to score on two of them. This outstanding performance was fitting as 25,000 fans in attendance received a Mancini bobble head prior to the game.

Lost in this surplus of runs was a great bounce-back performance by Kevin Gausman. The O’s starter went seven strong innings and gave up just two runs while striking out five. In his last three starts prior to Saturday Gausman surrendered a total of 13 runs and never made it past the fifth inning.

Mike Wright and David Hess combined to close out the final two innings. Wright took care of business very quickly by picking up three outs on just nine pitches. Hess was making just his second appearance of the month after losing his spot in the starting rotation at the end of June. The rookie pitcher got off to a rough start when he hit Daniel Robertson with a pitch, but he managed to settle down and pick up a pair of strikeouts while finishing off the inning.

The Orioles tied up their season series against the Rays with the 11-2 win on Saturday. Despite going 6-for-6 against Tampa Bay so far in 2018, the O’s offense has consistently attacked the Rays pitchers. Saturday marks the fourth game this year in which the O’s scored nine runs or more against Tampa Bay.

Image credit: Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

Advertisements

Orioles fall short of sweep in Atlanta but still pick up a rare road series win

ATLANTA — Despite dropping the series finale 7-3, the Orioles

Game 1 (10-7 BAL): It’s hard to describe just how crazy Friday night’s series opener was. The unusualness of the game came pretty early before culminating into an insane ninth inning. With Alex Cobb on the mound, many expected the O’s to be forced to dig themselves out of a hole early on. However, Cobb turned in a great outing and held the Braves to just one run through seven innings of work.

The unlikely scenarios didn’t stop with Cobb. Chris Davis returned to the starting lineup after being benched for eight games and put the O’s on the board in the fifth with a solo homer to left field. Davis’ struggles at the plate have been well documented this season so no one expected the big man to make this kind of splash in his return.

The game remained tied until the eighth inning. Tanner Scott gave up another pair of runs and the Braves took a 3-1 lead going into the ninth. What happened next was even more unexpected than Cobb’s quality outing or Davis’ flashy comeback. The O’s sent ten batters to the plate and came through with six hits to score six runs and take a 7-3 lead.

Adam Jones and Manny Machado led off the inning with a single and a walk respectively. Danny Valencia brought Jones in with an RBI single and Jonathan Schoop followed with a ground rule double to score Machado and tie the game. The Braves made a pitching change but it didn’t stop the next four batters from picking up RBI’s with either a hit or a sacrifice fly.

With this being a road interleague series for the O’s, a pinch hitter was needed when the bottom of the lineup came around late in the game. After making his major league debut on Wednesday, Steve Wilkerson got the opportunity to hit in the ninth in place of Brad Brach. The 26-year-old got a pitch he liked right away and hit a shallow line drive into right field for his first career hit and more importantly his first career RBI.

The game had already provided enough surprises but the Braves still had three outs to work with. Zach Britton came in to close out the final inning but encountered his first rough outing since returning from injury earlier this month. Britton quickly loaded the bases before recording an out, which certainly didn’t inspire much optimism, but he did have a four-run lead to work with.

Unfortunately, Britton never gained control in his appearance. The next three Braves batters all picked up RBI hits to tie the game up at once again. As fate would have it, former Oriole Nick Markakis was responsible for driving in the game-tying run with a double to right field. To make things even worse, only one out had been recorded and it seemed that the most heartbreaking loss imaginable was now unavoidable.

Darren O’Day came in after Britton’s implosion and was tasked with the seemingly impossible mission of keeping the game tied 7-7. However, with the winning run at third base, O’Day dialed in and picked up a crucial strikeout. He later finished off the nightmare inning two batters later by getting Dansby Swanson to fly out to right field.

The O’s were fortunate enough to survive the bottom of the ninth and force extra innings but there was a lot of baseball left to be played before the wild ride ended. It didn’t help that both offenses failed to keep their momentum going after scoring a combined ten runs in the ninth. Through the next five innings the Braves only managed to pick up three hits and the O’s only reached base once via walk.

The Orioles finally broke through in the 15th. Craig Gentry led off the inning and reached base after being hit by a pitch. Two at-bats later, Machado put the O’s back on top with a two-run homer down the left field line. Just like the ninth, the Orioles added an insurance run after taking the lead as Colby Rasmus picked up a hit and later came around to score on an RBI single by Schoop.

The O’s bullpen was locked in through all six extra innings. Miguel Castro pitched three hitless innings and Mike Wright finished off the game with two strong innings to earn his first win of the season.

Game 2 (7-5 BAL): It’s difficult to turn around and play the next day after going through a game like Friday night’s series opener. The important thing is the Orioles walked away with a win, but it took over five hours to get it with the final out being recorded around 1:00 am on Saturday.

The quick turnaround didn’t have an effect on the Orioles lineup. In the first inning, the top of the lineup loaded the bases very quickly for Mark Trumbo. The O’s cleanup hitter fell behind in the count but still managed to blast a grand slam to center field and put the Orioles up 4-0 right away.

The Braves got one back in the bottom half of the inning but Dylan Bundy held the Atlanta lineup down for most of his 6.1 innings of work. A second run was manufactured by the Braves in the fifth, but the O’s offense had already scored three more in the top half of the inning, so the score remained comfortable in Baltimore’s favor.

Atlanta did manage to make it a closer game after Bundy exited. Most of the reliable bullpen arms had already been used the night before so Donnie Hart was called upon to pick up where Bundy left off. Hart was making just his seventh relief appearance of the season and couldn’t quite get into a rhythm. The Braves loaded the bases and then Markakis brought two home with an RBI double to make it 7-4 game. Buck Showalter was quick to pull Hart and replace him with Mychal Givens who finished off the inning with just nine pitches.

Givens and Britton combined to close out the final two innings. Britton’s ninth inning appearance was strange considering how bad he performed with a bigger lead the night before. However, Britton rebounded and earned his first save since Sept. 17 of last year.

Game 3 (7-3 ATL): The Orioles had already secured a rare road series win but a sweep was still on the table Sunday afternoon. David Hess got the start for the Orioles and turned in another rough outing. It marked the third straight start where Hess gave up five runs in less than five innings of work.

It started right away in the first inning when Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with an RBI single. The next three came in the third inning on a pair of doubles by Markakis and Charlie Culberson. Markakis had a great series against his former team by going 6-for-14 at the plate with four doubles and five RBI.

Trumbo also had a standout weekend despite not being in the starting lineup on Sunday. Buck Showalter still found a way to get Trumbo’s bat into the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth and the right fielder came up big with a two-run homer to make it a 5-3 game. It marked Trumbo’s fifth home run in the last seven games and gave him his sixth RBI of the series.

That would be the end of the afternoon for the Orioles offense as they only picked up one hit through the final four innings. The Braves padded their lead in the eighth with a two-run homer by Swanson and went on to close out a 7-3 win. By salvaging a win on Sunday, the Braves avoided what could have been just their second sweep of the season.

Up next: The Orioles will return home this week to open up a seven-game home stand against two west coast teams. It starts with a four game set against Seattle and then a weekend series against the Angels will follow.

Image credit: Daniel Shirey / Getty Images

Orioles prepare to take on Braves in first trip to SunTrust Park

ATLANTA — The Orioles will continue their six game interleague road trip this weekend with a three game set against the Atlanta Braves. Earlier this week the O’s dropped two of three against Washington. This didn’t come as too much of a surprise but it did mark the first time since 2007 that the Orioles have lost their season series to the Nationals.

In a season full of disappointment and frustration, this coming series against Atlanta might be one of the toughest to watch for O’s fans. Not because of the Orioles terrible offense and inconsistent pitching, but because of who is in the opposing dugout.

Nick Markakis currently finds himself in the middle of a career year at the age of 34. It also marks the final season of his four year deal with the Braves. These past four seasons have been filled with regret for the O’s as Markakis has continued to be a consistent force in the Atlanta lineup and almost seems to be getting better with age.

Markakis is batting .323 with 44 RBI’s and just 32 strikeouts so far this season. On top of all of this is the fact that the veteran right fielder will most likely be making the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. The accomplishment is long overdue but if there was ever a year where he was deserving, it’s 2018

Last meeting: These two teams have not met since 2015 when Markakis made his return to Camden Yards for the first time in a different uniform. The Orioles ended up walking away from that series with a three game sweep.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Friday, June 22, 7:35 pm – Alex Cobb (2-9, 7.14 ERA) vs Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, June 23, 4:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (5-7, 3.81 ERA) vs Julio Teheran (5-4, 3.97 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, June 24, 1:35 pm – David Hess (2-3, 4.82 ERA) vs Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.16 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on Orioles:

  • Adam Jones has been exceptional so far this season against national league opponents. Up until Thursday’s game against Washington, Jones had recorded at least one hit in every interleague game so far this season. Overall, Jones is batting .367 with one home run and four RBI’s in 12 interleague games so far this year.
  • Darren O’Day and Zach Britton both made their return to the O’s bullpen early this month. So far both have been able to jump back in and be highly effective. The duo has combined to strikeout 12 while throwing a little over eight scoreless innings since June 10.

Notes on Braves:

  • Markakis isn’t the only Braves player on a tear right now. Freddie Freeman should definitely be on the radar of every Orioles pitcher since he is also on his way to a career year at the plate. Freeman and Markakis both currently lead the national league in hits with 93 each.
  • The Braves will be happy to get Mike Foltynewicz back for this series. The Atlanta starter hit the ten day disabled list this past Sunday but he appears ready to return to the rotation this weekend. Foltynewicz is off to the best start of his career, with a 5-4 record and a 2.16 ERA through his first 14 starts.

Image credit: Carolyn Kaster / AP

Orioles can’t hold on to early lead, drop series opener to Nationals 9-7

WASHINGTON, D.C — After salvaging a win over the Marlins on Sunday, the Orioles (20-50) made a trip down the beltway to face the Washington Nationals (38-32). When these teams met back in late May, the Nationals walked away with a sweep. The O’s interleague rival picked up where they left off and won Tuesday’s series opener 9-7 thanks to some timely offense. The win also secured the Nationals first season series victory over the O’s since 2007.

The Orioles got shutout twice in that previous series but came out of the gates on Tuesday looking to makeup for it. Thanks to a pair of two-run homers by Jace Peterson and Trey Mancini, the O’s were able to take a 4-1 lead in the fourth. The Birds added a fifth in the following inning by taking what Nationals starter Jefry Rodriguez was giving them.

Rodriguez, who was making his first major league start, wasn’t finding much success early on. He completely lost control in the fifth by walking David Hess and Peterson to start the inning. Rodriguez could not get settled in after this and proceeded to hit Adam Jones in the next at bat to load the bases.

The Orioles should have gotten more out of this situation, but Manny Machado grounded into a double play. The at bat managed to bring Hess home but it also quickly put an end to a potentially big inning. As the game progressed, this developed into an even bigger missed opportunity.

Hess was stout early on in his start and looked like he was on his way to a quality start. However, the 24-year-old rookie ended up falling apart in the fifth. Just like Rodriguez did in the top of the fifth, Hess opened the inning by loading the bases. Hess had a little breathing room to work with, but that was erased fairly quickly after giving up a two-RBI single to Adam Eaton.

The Nats grabbed another two runs with a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rendon and a double by Bryce Harper. Just like that, the game was tied and Hess’ night came to an end.

The O’s offense didn’t waste any time getting the lead back in the sixth but once again there was a big missed opportunity as Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a triple. Later in the inning Mancini hit a ground ball back to the mound and Schoop got caught in a rundown. The Orioles loaded the bases once again but only managed to push one run across with a fielder’s choice.

This slim lead would not last long in the hands of the O’s inconsistent bullpen. Tanner Scott entered the game to pitch the seventh but the Nationals batters continued to dominate at the plate. A two-RBI double by Rendon gave Washington the lead once again and they would continue to pile on runs after chasing Scott out of the game. Mike Wright was brought in to try to put out the fire but that didn’t go over well. Wright doesn’t often find himself in these high leverage situations, and for good reason.

As you might expect, Wright was not able to escape the inning without giving up two additional runs. One was credited to Scott but it doesn’t really matter as both relievers failed to maintain the lead the offense had given them.

The O’s went into the final two innings down 9-6 and that was just too much for the offense to overcome. Joey Rickard‘s solo homer made it a 9-7 game in the ninth, but that was all the offense could muster. Nationals closer Sean Doolittle recovered from the mistake and managed to finish off the inning for his 19th save of the year.

Image credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

Orioles extend losing streak to seven after getting swept by Red Sox

Game 1 (2-0 BOS): After dropping a pair of extra inning games this past weekend in Toronto, the Orioles returned home on Monday and found themselves in yet another close battle that needed more than nine innings to resolve itself. Of course the O’s ended up on the losing end thanks to the offense taking the night off.

It’s no secret that the Orioles have been struggling to score runs recently. At their best they may put up three runs and we saw even less run production when the O’s played the Mets last week without a designated hitter. That felt like the lowest the offense could get but we now know that is wrong. On Monday the Orioles played without their best player as Manny Machado was left out of the lineup with an illness. Many fans expected the O’s to struggle without Machado, but getting shutout through twelve innings was still a new low for this offense.

The good news is the Orioles pitching staff showed up to play and did their best to extend the game as long as possible. Dylan Bundy got the start and allowed just three hits while striking out seven in eight innings of work. This deep outing would end up being even more appreciated as the game remained scoreless through regulation.

Richard Bleier kept the momentum going following Bundy’s exit and struck out two while retiring the side in the ninth on just eight pitches. Brad Brach was also fairly effective in 1.2 innings of work. The inconsistent reliever has cost the O’s a handful of games this season, but he provided a decent outing on Monday.

Brach made his way through the tenth inning without much trouble and then proceeded to get the first two outs of the eleventh pretty quickly. However, Brach put the next two batters on base and was forced out of the game before he could complete the inning.

Mychal Givens came in looking to shut the door and keep the Red Sox scoreless but proceeded to walk another batter and load the bases. To make things even more intense, Givens quickly fell behind Mitch Moreland in the next at bat and was now facing a 3-0 count. With his back against the wall, Givens reared back and delivered three straight fastballs to strikeout Moreland and escape the high tension moment.

You would hope an escape like that would kick the offense into high gear going into the bottom half of the inning, but the O’s remained uninspired at the plate. Chris Davis, Chance Sisco and Jace Peterson were due up but all three batters struck out and the game continued.

Givens made his way out of the eleventh by the skin of his teeth but the twelfth was not as kind. Givens allowed the first three batters to get on base before recording a single out. At this point it seemed inevitable that the Red Sox would break the scoreless monotony and that came true very quickly as Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. picked up RBI’s with a pair of sacrifice outs.

Game 2 (6-4 BOS): The Orioles got Manny Machado back on Tuesday but it was far from enough to propel them to victory. David Hess made his second start against the Red Sox and failed to make it out of the fourth inning. Hess has been a reliable piece of the rotations since making his major league debut in mid May, but Boston has given him a lot of trouble. In six starts Hess has given up fifteen earned runs and ten of them have come from the Red Sox lineup.

Miguel Castro entered the game after Hess and surrendered one more run to make it a 6-2 Boston lead by the end of the fifth.  The score would remain the same until the ninth inning when the O’s got two more runs. Mark Trumbo came through with a two RBI double, but the Orioles still found themselves down by two with just one out left.

Game 3 (4-0 BOS): In the series finale the Orioles turned to a new face to make a spot start. Andrew Cashner was originally scheduled to start but hit the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with a lower back strain. This opened the door for Yefry Ramirez to make his MLB debut. The 24-year-old joined the Orioles organization in 2017 after being traded by the New York Yankees for international signing bonus slots.

Facing the Boston Red Sox in your first career start is far from ideal, but Ramirez seemed up to the task early on. The O’s starter took care of business in the first two innings but fell victim to Mookie Betts in the third when the Boston right fielder sent a solo home run to center field.

Ramirez was able to settle in and make it through the fourth but was removed after one out in the fifth after he started to run into a jam. It is likely that Buck Showalter kept Ramirez on a short leash in his first start, but the young pitcher had already thrown 97 pitches by the time he was pulled.

Mike Wright entered the game and proceeded to allow three runs before finishing the inning. The first two were credited to Ramirez since he put them on base before exiting the game.

Down 4-0 the Orioles were already at a disadvantage but the lead seemed even more insurmountable with Chris Sale on the mound for Boston. The Red Sox ace has dominated the Orioles for most of his career with a 5-2 record and a 2.79 ERA against the Birds. On Wednesday Sale gave up just two hits and struck out nine in six innings of work. He exited the game in the seventh after putting two runners on and when one came around to score later in the inning, Sale was credited with a run.

That would end up being the only run of the afternoon for the Orioles as the Boston bullpen came in and shutdown the last three innings. The O’s had a chance to push a few more runs across in the ninth by getting two runners in scoring position with two outs. Joey Rickard came to the plate for the at bat but grounded out to third base to end the game.

Up next: The Orioles will finish this home stand with a weekend series against the Miami Marlins. This will be the only meeting between these two teams in 2018.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

Orioles swept by blue jays in four game weekend series

Game 1 (5-4 TOR): The Orioles opened up their series against the Blue Jays with a disappointing loss in extra innings. David Hess took the mound and once again gave his team a great chance to win by allowing just one run through six innings of work. Through his first five starts Hess is 2-2 with a 3.07 ERA. Thursday’s start also marked the third straight outing where he gave up one run or less.

Most pitchers would walk away from those three starts with a 3-0 record, but not Hess. Through his first four starts, Hess only received two runs of support per game and that’s obviously not a recipe for success. On Thursday the Orioles lineup actually showed up for their starter and scored four runs. It may have taken them a while to get the offense going but the support was there none the less.

Unfortunately, Brad Brach could not hold on to a 4-1 lead. Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier both worked an inning of relief and gave up just a hit each. When Brach came in for the save, he quickly ran into trouble. After getting the first out, Brach walked a batter and then gave up a double to put two runners in scoring position. Randal Grichuk brought them both home with double to make it a 4-3 game.

Buck Showalter opted to keep Brach in the game despite the shaky performance which ended up being a mistake. Brach failed to settle down and walked another batter before allowing a single to load the bases. An RBI single by Kevin Pillar tied the game and Showalter finally made a pitching change. Miguel Castro came in and worked out of the jam by inducing a double play to force extra innings

The pitching change kept the game alive for the O’s but certainly came too late. This is not the first time Brach has struggled this season in the closing role. With wins coming at a premium, Showalter’s decision is definitely confusing.

The controversial decisions continued as Showalter opted to let Castro come back out for the tenth inning. The reliever started the inning by putting two runners on but immediately followed it up with a pair of strikeouts. Castro would not finish off the inning and escape the jam this time though. Aledmys Diaz came up to the plate and delivered an RBI single to left field, completing the 5-4 walk off win.

Game 2 (5-1 TOR): Check out the full recap of Friday night’s game by Ian Schultz.

Game 3 (4-3 TOR): The Orioles played another extra inning game on Saturday and once again suffered the agony of a walk-off loss. It was a slow start for both offenses with only one run being scored in the first five innings. Kevin Gausman and Aaron Sanchez traded punches through their six-plus innings of work before turning it over to the bullpen.

Down 2-0 going into the seventh, the O’s offense finally came to life and pushed two runs across when an RBI double by Chance Sisco was followed by an RBI single by Adam Jones.

The Blue Jays responded with a solo home run by Grichuk in the next inning. The Toronto outfielder had a great series against the O’s this weekend by going 8-for-16 at the plate with two homers and five RBI.

A wild pitch by Tyler Clippard allowed Jonathan Schoop to score in the eighth and once again tie the game up. The score would remain tied at three through the ninth before these two teams entered extra innings for the second time this series.

The O’s did have a chance to take the lead in the ninth by getting Jones and Manny Machado on the corners with one out. However, in the ensuing at bat Jones misread a ground ball and was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice. The mistake may have cost the O’s a chance at a win in regulation but the bullpen continued to be a liability as the game continued.

Mychal Givens came in to pitch the tenth inning and proceeded to get two outs but also load the bases. Luke Maile stepped up to the plate and was quickly fed three balls outside the zone. In this scenario there isn’t a reason to swing and Maile did just that as ball four sailed up in the zone. It wasn’t the most exciting walk-off for Toronto but they all feel the same when you’re on the losing end.

Game 4 (13-3 TOR): Facing their first four game sweep of the season, the O’s were desperate for a win in Sunday afternoon’s finale. Unlike the extra inning thrillers on Thursday and Saturday, the O’s did not hang around with the Blue Jays and found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-3 blowout.

Alex Cobb got the start for the O’s and surrendered nine runs in just 3.2 innings. Cobb has had quite a few awful starts this year but this one stands as one of the worst. The nine runs allowed ties Cobb’s career high and inflates his ERA back up to 7.23. Pedro Araujo entered the game after Cobb and failed to stop the bleeding by allowing four more runs in just one inning of work.

Mike Wright and Darren O’Day combined to close out the final three innings but the damage had already been done. Even in the blowout loss it was nice to see O’Day return to the bullpen after spending most of May on the disabled list. The submarine pitcher struck out two while retiring the Blue Jays on 17 pitches in the eighth.

The O’s offense actually struck first on Sunday with a solo home run by Trey Mancini in the second inning. The Orioles would not get another until the seventh when Schoop did the same thing. The third and final run came later that inning when Jace Peterson picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

Up next: The Orioles return home on Monday to open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox. This will be the Red Sox’ first visit to Camden Yards in 2018. The two AL East teams have met twice already with the Red Sox leading the season series 6-1.

Image credit: Baltimore Sun

Orioles look to carry success from Mets series into Toronto as road trip continues

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