A Maryland native will be the starting pitcher against the Orioles tonight as the Blue Jays and Birds play Game 3 of this series at Camden Yards.
Toronto lefty Aaron Laffey is from Cumberland, Maryland and was drafted in Round 16 out of Cumberland's Allegany High School by Cleveland in 2003. The Blue Jays are his fourth team and he's also been with the Indians, Mariners and Yankees.
The 27-year-old Laffey, who spent some time this season at Triple-A, is 3-6 with a 4.80 ERA. His last three games have been starts and he is 0-1 with a 7.15 ERA in those games, pitching just 4 2/3 and then 3 2/3 and three innings.
In four September games, Laffey is 0-1 with a 5.65 ERA. He is 3-5 with a 5.71 ERA since the All-Star break. He had an ERA of 2.70 in his first five Blue Jays start this year, but it is 6.75 over his last nine.
Laffey has not faced the Orioles this season. In seven career games, one start, vs. Baltimore, he is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA over 10 2/3 innings.
Worth watching for tonight: Opponents hit just .155 vs. Laffey the first time through the order, but are batting .335 against him after that.
Joe Saunders makes his sixth start for the O's tonight. He is 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA. Saunders made a start on Sept. 3 at Toronto and pitched six shutout innings of three-hit ball, throwing 94 pitches.
Saunders gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 on Aug. 29 in his O's debut. But, in four starts since, he is 2-1 with 2.10 ERA and .213 batting average against.
"Joe is a pro," manager Buck Showalter said. "More times than not he's going to give you a chance to win. On a given night he can be real good. Joe competes. He's athletic, he cares. He's been a good addition for us," Showalter said, adding that Saunders, who is from northern Virginia, has been leaving a lot of tickets for family and friends on the pass list.
In eight career starts against Toronto, he is 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA and six quality starts.
Through four: Laffey needed just over 10 pitches per inning to get through the first three innings and keep the Orioles off the board. Then he bettered that, getting three outs in a six-pitch last of the fourth. He has allowed four singles and no runs so far as Toronto leads 2-0. The Orioles have had just runner get to second base in this game.