Manager: John Gibbons (11th season)
Last 10 games: 5-5
Who to watch: 1B Justin Smoak (24 HR, 75 RBIs), OF Randall Grichuk (23 HR, 54 RBIs), DH Kendrys Morales (21 HR, 57 RBIs), RHP Ken Giles (22 saves)
Season series vs. Orioles: 12-4
Inside the Blue Jays:
Toronto travels to Charm City tonight for its final series against the Orioles in 2018. They’ve exuded their dominance over the struggling ballclub, winning 75 percent of the matchups so far this season. The Blue Jays currently trail first-place Boston by 35 1/2 games and will finish in fourth place in the American League East. There are already rumblings that the disappointing results will cost manager John Gibbons, who is in his second tour of duty in Toronto, his job. Other changes could be coming north of the border, too.
Outfielder Randal Grichuk must wish the Blue Jays could play Baltimore 162 times a year. Through 16 matchups, he’s accrued five homers, 11 RBIs and is batting .407. So far this season, Camden Yards may be Grichuk’s favorite ballpark to play in; he’s batting .500 there. In the series finale yesterday at Yankee Stadium, Grichuk scored the go-ahead RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to secure the Blue Jays’ first series victory over the Bronx Bombers this season. It was Grichuk’s sixth game-winning RBI on the year. Promising rookie first baseman Rowdy Tellez went 1-for-1 yesterday with an RBI in the Jays’ victory over the Yankees. The former 30th-round draft pick in 2013 is now batting .407 on the season. First-year catcher Reese McGuire went 2-for-4 in the finale versus the Yankees with a double and his first major league RBI. First baseman Justin Smoak’s 24 homers and 75 RBIs lead the Blue Jays. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales is a career .317/.375/.533 hitter versus the Orioles, including a .306/.365/.524 line at Camden Yards
Rookie Ryan Borucki will start tonight’s series opener. Borucki’s last appearance came against the Red Sox on Sept. 11 where the lefty gave up two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out five batters in 6 1/3 innings. In Borucki’s last start against the O’s on Aug. 29, he gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. In his last start on Sept 12 against Boston, right-hander Aaron Sanchez (4.90 ERA) gave up just one earned run on three hits while striking out six. Sanchez, who starts Tuesday night, is 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA in eight games (six starts) in his career at Camden Yards. After 3 1/3 innings on Sept. 13, Wednesday starter Sam Gaviglio was pulled in his last start. Gaviglio allowed two earned runs and six hits in the matchup. He’s 1-1 with a 4.33 ERA in three starts against the Orioles in 2018.
Since coming over from the Astros in a trade, closer Ken Giles is 10-for-10 in save opportunities, but has an inflated 5.17 ERA.