Ryan Flaherty quotes and other notes

Without Manny Machado available, it is Ryan Flaherty who gets the start at third base tonight for the Orioles.

“It’s nice to be in there, but under the circumstances, losing one of the most promising players in the game and one of the best teammates I’ve had, that is not fun to see,” Flaherty said.

“I feel comfortable over there. I’ll do some early work and I feel good there. The throws are different, but defense is defense.”

Flaherty becomes the first player, other than Machado, to start at third for the Orioles since Aug. 8, 2012 when Wilson Betemit got the start there against Seattle.

The last homestand of the year begins for the Orioles tonight as they host Toronto for three at Camden Yards before Boston comes in on Friday.

Chris Tillman (16-7, 3.70 ERA) pitches against right-hander Todd Redmond (4-2, 3.82 ERA).

Tillman takes another shot at becoming a 17-game winner. The last O’s pitcher to do that was Mike Mussina, who won 18 in 1999. Tillman has just two wins over his last nine starts.

Tillman needs to pitch 5 2/3 innings tonight to reach the 200-inning mark for the season. The last Oriole to pitch that many innings was Jeremy Guthrie with 208 in 2011.

The Orioles are 20-11 in Tillman’s 31 starts this season. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts on the year against Toronto.

A few other O’s notes:

* During their 4-6 road trip, the Orioles’ team batting average was just .195 and they scored only 30 runs in the 10 games.

* A loss tonight would match the O’s longest skid of the season. They lost six in a row from May 14-20.

* The O’s hit two homers Monday, but have hit just four over the last eight games. They have just two games of two homers over the last 16 games.

* For the O’s, 15 of their last 16 games have been decided by two runs or less and they are 6-9 in those games.

* The Orioles and Blue Jays have split 16 meetings this season. The Orioles are 4-2 at home against Toronto this year and are 11-4 at home against Toronto since the start of the 2012 season.

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