O's game blog: Looking for a series win at Rogers Centre

After beating the Toronto Blue Jays just five times all last season and not winning one of the six series the teams played, the Orioles matched that win total against Toronto in 2022 last night with 12 more games to play.

The 2021 Birds went 5-14 and 0-5-1 in series versus the Blue Jays. With last night’s 7-3 win at Rogers Centre the current Birds are now 5-2 against Toronto and are 1-0-1 in series. They will have another series win if they take one of the next two games. They are looking for their first series win in Toronto since July 5-7, 2019.

The Orioles have won their last four games versus Toronto by a combined 30-14 score, scoring 10, seven, six and seven runs in those games.

In last night’s win, outfielder Ryan McKenna went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run and an RBI and recorded his first career three-hit game. Six different Orioles drove in runs and Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run homer in the third inning. It was No. 16 this year for Mountcastle, but he had had just one homer in his previous 31 games.

He continues to torment Toronto pitchers. In seven games against the team this year, Mountcastle is batting .464 (13-for-28) with four doubles, five homers and 12 RBIs. In 32 career games versus Jays pitching he is batting .360 (45-for-125) with six doubles, 14 homers and 28 RBIs.

In the American League wild card race, the Orioles (60-55) are two games behind Seattle (63-54), which holds the top wild card spot. Both Tampa Bay and Toronto (61-53) are tied for the second and third spots, and both are 1.5 games ahead of the Orioles.

Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer (4-4, 3.69 ERA) makes his 13th start tonight and first this year versus Toronto. Kremer allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings on 87 pitches on Thursday at Boston. Even though he had a scoreless outing two starts ago against Pittsburgh, his ERA is 5.82 over his past four games. And in those games opponents have hit .319 against him with a .807 OPS. The Orioles are 7-5 in Kremer’s 2022 outings.

Righty Alek Manoah (12-5, 2.56 ERA) will make his 23rd start for Toronto. His last game was against the Orioles and it was just the eighth time this year he gave up three runs or more. He allowed eight hits and three runs over five innings on 77 pitches.

For the year, however, Manoah, who ranks fourth in the American League in ERA, has allowed two earned runs or fewer 17 times, and he has 17 quality starts. In two starts against the Orioles he is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings.

Manoah, who throws his fastball 61 percent of the time, rates in the top six percent of the majors in hard-hit percentage, meaning he doesn’t often give up loud contact. He ranks in the top 20 percent in barrel percentage and top 25 percent in chase rate.

Orioles by month:

April: 7-14
May: 14-16
June: 14-12
July: 16-9
August: 9-4

Anthony Santander is batting .345/.400/.586 (30-for-87) with six doubles, five homers, 13 runs scored, 15 RBIs, four walks, and four hit-by-pitches in 22 games since the All-Star break. Among AL leaders since the break, his 51 total bases, .345 batting average and .586 slugging percentage rank fourth, his 30 hits are tied for fifth, his .400 on-base percentage is tied for fifth, and his .986 OPS ranks sixth.

Shortstop Jorge Mateo is batting .337/.375/.633 (33-for-98) with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs, 20 runs, 14 RBIs, five walks and six stolen bases in 28 games since July 10. Among AL leaders during that time, he leads with three triples, is third with 16 extra-base hits, tied for fourth with 62 total bases, sixth in stolen bases and tied for sixth in runs. 

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