O's game blog: Bruce Zimmermann faces the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre

TORONTO – As a team trying to build some momentum, the Orioles have won three of four after taking last night’s game 6-5 at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Jorge López recorded a five-out save as the Orioles improved to 27-36 for the year, 3-3 on this road trip and 8-10 in one-run games.

The Orioles are now 12-17 versus AL East teams, but are 8-6 in their last 14 division games. For the year they are 4-9 against the Yankees, 5-3 versus the Red Sox, 1-1 against the Blue Jays and 2-4 versus the Rays.

The Orioles are improving within the division after playing .263 ball (20-56) in 76 AL East games a year ago. This season the Orioles would finish 31-45 in division games at their current win percentage.

The Orioles hit two homers in Tuesday’s win with Ryan Mountcastle’s 396-foot shot to right field providing a 2-0 lead in the third on his 10th of the year. Later, Austin Hays led off the fifth inning hitting his eighth of the season to give the O's a 4-3 lead.

For his career, Mountcastle is batting .340/.397/.660 for a 1.057 OPS with 10 homers and 18 RBIs in 27 games against Toronto. Mountcastle’s 10 home runs versus the Jays are his most against any MLB club.

Last night, Mountcastle added a pair of doubles for his third 3+ hit game of the season. He recorded three extra-base hits in a single game for the second time in his career. He first did that with a three-homer game on June 19, 2021, also against Toronto.

Hays is batting .299/.344/.521 for an .865 OPS with six homers and 19 RBIs in 32 games for his career against Blue Jays pitchers. Over his last 25 games, Hays has gone 30-for-99 (.303) with five doubles, five homers, and 23 RBIs to go with an .854 OPS. Robinson Chirinos doubled twice and drove in a run in the fourth, part of a 2-for-4 effort. This marked his third multi-hit game of the season, and his 10th career multi-double game.

O’s batters have hit 16 homers their last nine games and 23 in the last 14. The Orioles as a team have scored 38 runs the last seven games. And since starting the year scoring just 24 runs in the season’s first 12 games, the Orioles have produced 229 runs in the last 51 games, for an average of 4.49 per game. The AL average for the season is 4.15.

In Game 3 of this series tonight, lefty Bruce Zimmermann (2-5, 5.52 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles. Zimmermann looks to reverse a five-start slide that has seen him allow 27 earned runs and 12 homers his past 25 2/3 innings.

Zimmermann went 2-2 with a 2.72 ERA in his first seven starts of this year. In the last five he is 0-3 with a 9.47 ERA and a 1.143 OPS against. On Friday at Kansas City, he gave up 10 hits and a season-high seven runs over 4 2/3 innings in an 8-1 loss. He has allowed five runs or more in four of his past five games.

The Orioles are 5-7 in Zimmermann’s starts. They won his first three but are 2-7 since then and have lost his past four in a row.

Right-hander José Berríos (5-2, 4.73 ERA) is set to make his 13th start tonight for the Blue Jays. For the year, he has allowed 69 hits, 10 homers, 17 walks and 54 strikeouts over 64 2/3 innings. He has recorded a 1.330 WHIP with a 2.4 walk rate and 7.5 strikeout rate.

The Blue Jays are 9-3 in his starts and he gave up one run in eight innings on Friday at Detroit. In his past two starts combined, he allowed three runs and eight hits over 15 innings to lower his ERA from 5.62 to its present mark.

Lefty batters have hit .280 with an OPS of .855 against him while right-handers have hit .261 with an OPS of .697. In five home starts he is 3-0 with an ERA of 3.00 and WHIP of 1.222 in 27 innings.

Toronto is 36-25 and even with Tuesday’s loss, has still won 14 of 19 and 19 of its last 28 games. They are 19-11 at home and 10-10 in AL East games. Since posting a record of 18-17 on May 15, Toronto is 18-8.

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