O's game blog: The series and road trip finale

TORONTO – The Orioles and Blue Jays have played 22 innings since the seventh inning on Monday night at Rogers Centre and the cumulative score is Orioles 13, Blue Jays 13.

After splitting consecutive one-run decisions, these teams play the fourth and final game of the series this afternoon. On Monday, before the seventh inning, Toronto built a big lead on its way to an 11-1 win. Tuesday night saw Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays homer in Baltimore’s 6-5 win. Last night, that same duo combined to drive in three runs in the eighth to forge a 6-6 tie before Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s walk-off hit in the tenth provided Toronto the 7-6 win.

The Orioles (27-37) have now played 64 games with 98 still to play. With a .422 win percentage they are on a pace for a final record of 68-94.

Even with Wednesday’s loss, the Orioles have won three of their past five games and are 5-5 over the last 10 and 13-13 in the past 26 games. They are 12-22 in road games, but 3-4 on this trip.

The O’s continue to mash home runs. Adley Rutschman’s first major league homer was a two-run shot in the fourth last night that went 411 feet to right-center off Toronto starter José Berríos. Ryan Mountcastle homered twice – a solo shot in the seventh that cut the O’s deficit to 6-3 and a game-tying, two-run homer to center in the eighth. Mountcastle’s 11th and 12th homers of the year traveled 424 and 413 feet, respectively, and gave him the team lead by one over Anthony Santander, who is on the restricted list for this series.

Mountcastle produced his second multi-homer game of the year and fifth of his career. Three of those games have come versus Toronto pitching. In 28 career games against the Blue Jays, he is batting .345 (38-for-110) with four doubles, 12 homers, 21 RBIs and with an OPS of 1.109.

Mountcastle also had his second career game of three extra-base hits on Tuesday night. He is 5-for-9 the past two nights with two doubles and three home runs. On this road trip Mountcastle is 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles, four homers, seven runs and six RBIs in seven games.

Baltimore batters hit five homers the past two games and eight in the last four. As of game time last night, Baltimore batters had hit 20 homers, the fifth-most of any AL team in June.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays (37-25) continue to play winning baseball. But despite posting the third-best record of any AL team, they are nine games behind the 46-16 (.742) Yankees.

Toronto is 6-3 over its last nine games. The Blue Jays are 20-11 at home and 11-11 versus AL East opponents. They have won eight of their past nine games with the Orioles, dating to last season, outscoring the Birds 95-41 in the nine contests.

Guerrero mashed his team-leading 16th home run of the year, a solo shot to lead off the 5th inning last night. Of his 16 longballs this season, 13 have travelled at least 400 feet. He produced his first career walk-off RBI, driving in Bo Bichette and finished the game 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. It was his third career four-hit game. Over his last six games, he is 13-for-27 (.481) with a double, three homers, and eight RBIs and 1.369 OPS.

Matt Chapman drilled a two-run homer in the third, his ninth homer of the season. Chapman has homered in consecutive games for the first time this year and 16th of his career. Over his last 14 games, he has gone 17-for-52 (.327) with three doubles, three homers, and 10 RBIs.

Former Oriole Kevin Gausman (5-5, 2.67 ERA) will face his former team for the first time today. Gausman has made 12 starts throwing 70 2/3 allowing just two homers and 10 walks with 77 strikeouts. He has a 0.3 homer rate, 1.3 walk rate and 9.8 strikeout rate.

In 33 games for San Francisco last year, he went 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 33 starts and finished sixth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. In December, he signed a five-year, $110 million dollar contract with Toronto. Not bad for a pitcher once non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles selected him No. 4 overall out of LSU in the 2012 draft. For his big league career in Baltimore, he went 39-51 with a 4.22 ERA which was exactly league average at 100 in ERA+ for his time with the Orioles.

Gausman, who has a FIP of 1.76, is using his fastball 50 percent of the time, throwing it 94.6 mph on average. His split finger usage is now at 35 percent, way up from his time in Baltimore.

Right-hander Tyler Wells (3-4, 3.86 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles. He is coming off his third career quality start when he allowed three runs in six innings Saturday at Kansas City. Over his past four starts, he is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.00 allowing a .187 opponent average and OPS of .571.

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