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

The Orioles won the first two games of a series with Toronto at home last week but the third game was rained out. They know they will get one in today at Rogers Centre and, after wins by 7-3 and 4-2, the Orioles can complete a sweep of the Blue Jays today.

The Orioles, who went 5-14 against the Jays last season, have won five straight games against Toronto for the first time since winning six in a row from Sept. 28 to April 14, 2017, and for the first time in a single season since posting six straight wins from May 9 to June 26, 1994.

The Orioles are 6-2 against the Blue Jays, going 2-0-1 in three series and will meet 11 more times this season. The O's are 4-2 at Rogers Centre. Baltimore has secured a road series win against Toronto for the first time since July 5-7, 2019 and the Orioles have not swept the Jays in a series of at least three games since Aug. 27-29, 2018 (3-0) and not on the road since April 22-24, 2005 (3-0).

If the Orioles (61-55) get the sweep, they will pass Toronto (61-54) for the third American League wild-card spot. They begin play today two games back of Seattle for the first wild card and 1.5 behind Tampa Bay for the second.

The Orioles have won 10 of 14, 14 of 21, 26 of 37 and 37 of their past 57 games. The Blue Jays have lost three in a row, six of seven and nine of 12 games. Toronto has scored just five runs in this series and just nine over the last five games.

The AL East standings since July 3:

Orioles, 26-11

* Tampa Bay, 20-17, 6 GB

* Toronto, 17-19, 8.5 GB

* Boston, 15-24, 12 GB

* New York, 14-24, 12.5 GB

The Orioles bullpen, which ranks third in MLB with a 3.05 ERA, has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless this series on two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. After starter Dean Kremer allowed two runs over seven innings last night, Dillon Tate pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Félix Bautista retired the side with two strikeouts in the ninth to record his seventh save.

The 3.05 mark by the Baltimore bullpen would be the lowest by O's relievers since the 1992 team posted a 3.03 ERA. The club’s 464 innings pitched by the ‘pen are second-most in the AL and fourth-most in MLB.

Kremer’s outing was the seventh by an O’s starter of seven innings or more this year and his second. It ended a run of nine straight games where the O’s rotation did not record a quality start and had an ERA of 6.00.

The O's have outscored their opponents 494-483 (+11) this season; they have outscored their opponents 304-250 (+54) in 65 games since June 1 after being outscored 190-233 (-43) in their first 51 games. The Orioles have gone 10-4 in their first 14 games in August. Their .714 winning percentage is the best in the AL and tied for the third-best in MLB this month. And the O's have outscored their opponents 69-51 (+18) in August while posting a .778 OPS, which leads the AL and ranks fifth-best in MLB this month.

Right-hander Austin Voth (3-1, 5.34 ERA) will make his 33rd appearance today. With the Orioles only, he is 3-1 with a 3.21 ERA. Today he makes his 10th start for the Orioles and they are 7-2 in the first nine. He has allowed two earned runs or less seven times in those games. His ERA is 2.95 over his past four starts for the Orioles, allowing six earned runs in 18 1/3 innings.

Right-hander Ross Stripling (5-3, 3.16 ERA) gets the start for the Blue Jays. They are 9-6 in his games. He’s allowed two earned runs or less four straight games with a 2.66 ERA in that span. Lefty batters hit .212 off him with an OPS of .569 and right handers bat .261/.679. He has not faced the Orioles this year.

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