The Orioles will make a roster move later today to create room for pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who’s returned from paternity leave and will start Saturday at Rogers Centre.
First baseman Travis Ishikawa had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk after filing paperwork to opt out. He’s 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in two games.
Ishikawa can’t be sent back down to the minors without an outright assignment, which he can refuse based on service time. The Yankees are believed to have interest in him as they continually seek replacements for first baseman Mark Teixeira. The Orioles would rather not aid their division rival.
Ishikawa would be more valuable to the Orioles if his resume didn’t include “left-handed hitting first baseman.” They’ve already got one. And a pretty good one, too.
Jason Hammel will make his first start since coming down with a stomach virus. He’s 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 11 career games against the Blue Jays, including eight starts. He’s 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA at Rogers Centre.
Melky Cabrera is 5-for-13 with a double, two home runs and five RBIs against Hammel. Edwin Encarnacion is 4-for-11 with a home run.
The Orioles will try to go 3-0 this season against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who shut them out on one hit last summer while pitching for the Mets.
Nate McLouth is 3-for-7 with two walks against Dickey. Chris Davis is 4-for-15 with two doubles and four strikeouts. Adam Jones is 2-for-13 with a home run.
Dickey gave up four runs and six hits, with five walks, in six innings in an April 23 loss to the Orioles. He allowed six runs and nine hits, with three walks, over 6 2/3 innings in the May 25 rematch.
The Blue Jays remain in last place in the American League East, but they’ve won eight in a row to improve to 35-36. They’re 19-17 at home.
The Orioles are 22-16 on the road this season, and they trail the first-place Red Sox by only one game.
Notes: With a win tonight, Hammel would give the Orioles two eight-game winners (also
Chris Tillman) before the end of June for the first time since 2006, when Kris Benson was 9-5 and Erik Bedard was 8-6.
Per STATS: Hammel (6-1) is tied with Tillman (6-0) and Felix Hernandez (6-1) for the most road wins in the AL.
Chris Davis and Adam Jones are on pace to drive in 147 and 120 runs, respectively. The last Oriole to drive in 100 runs in a season was Nick Markakis (101) in 2009. This year’s duo would be the first set of Orioles teammates to do it in the same season since Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora in 2008.
Also per STATS: Jones has a 16-game hitting streak against Toronto dating back to Aug. 24, 2012, tied for the third-longest streak by an Oriole against the Blue Jays. Al Bumbry hit safely in 20 straight against Toronto from June 26,1977-June 30, 1980. Miguel Tejada had a hit in 18 straight games from Aug. 30, 2005-June 14, 2006. Lee Lacy hit safely in 16 straight from Aug. 1, 1985-June 12, 1887.
Davis (11) and Jones (11) have the most homers against the Jays since the start of the 2012 season.