TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays recently took three of four games in a series in Baltimore. Today, they can sweep a three-game series with the Orioles at Rogers Centre. They have posted two straight 6-3 wins over the Orioles this weekend.
The O’s (75-69) began the weekend five games behind Toronto and are now seven games back. The Orioles have lost eight of of their past 12 games. They are 7-8 for the season series against Toronto and 4-5 at Rogers Centre. The teams will play three games at the end of the season in Baltimore, but the Orioles will have to gain significant ground on Toronto to make those matter.
With Saturday’s victory, the Blue Jays are now 83-63 this season, and are 20 games over .500 for the first time since finishing last year at 91-71. They are now 43-31 at Rogers Centre and moved to 35-27 in American League East division games, having won 11 of the last 14 and 15 of the last 19. They win this series and are now 25-15-6 in series play this year and have gone 14-7-2 in home series.
Toronto left fielder Raimel Tapia cleared the bases with a double in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Blue Jays in front, 6- 2. He drove in at least three runs in a game for the sixth time this season.
Toronto’s George Springer led off the game with a single before doubling home a pair in the second off losing pitcher Kyle Bradish, who is now 3-7 with an ERA of 5.05. Springer went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, his 30th multi-hit game of the year.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled in his opening at-bat before singling again in the seventh. He finished the day 2-for-4, his 41st multi-hit game. And Guerrero extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 15-for-48 (.313) with four doubles, a homer and three RBIs over that span.
The Orioles are now 34-39 on the road. Even with the two losses this weekend, they have won eight of the last 13 and 12 of 20 away from Camden Yards.
Gunnar Henderson had a two-run single for the Orioles, going 2-for-4. It was his fourth straight multi-hit game on this road trip, his fifth in the last seven games and seventh in his 16 MLB games. He is now batting .345/.387/.586/.973 for the year with six doubles, a triple, two homers and 12 RBIs.
He is one of four players in O's history with at least 20 hits, one of three with at least nine extra-base hits, and one of five with at least 12 RBIs in his first 16 career games; the extra-base hits are tied for the most in a player's first 16 games in team history. Henderson is the youngest player (21 years, 80 days) with 20 hits in his first 16 games in Orioles history, and the youngest in MLB since Boston's Rafael Devers (20 years, 294 days) recorded 21 in 2017.
On the road trip, Henderson is 8-for-17, and over his past seven games he is 11-for-25 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.
Anthony Santander had a two-hit day, including a double, and produced his 34th multi-hit game. Adley Rutschman recorded his 23rd game with two hits or more, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a walk.
But as a team the O’s are hitting just .215 (14-for-65) this series with six runs on three doubles, a triple and two homers. They are 3-for-10 at Rogers Centre this weekend with runners in scoring position.
Right-hander Dean Kremer (7-5, 3.34 ERA), who has pitched well this year against Toronto, will try to pitch the O’s to a win today. The team is 12-5 in his 17 starts, going 5-1 in the last six. In those six games, Kremer has allowed two earned runs or less five times and has an ERA of 2.72 with seven walks and 23 strikeouts over 36 1/3 innings. In that span opponents hit .257 with an OPS of .639 off Kremer.
In his two games against Toronto, he is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing four earned runs in 12 1/3 innings with one homer allowed, three walks and nine strikeouts.
Ace righty Alek Manoah (14-7, 2.43 ERA) makes his 29th start for the home team. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 draft out of West Virginia has produced a strong 0.996 WHIP this year, allowing 6.8 hits per nine with a 2.2 walk rate and 8.3 strikeout rate. He ranks fourth in the AL in ERA.
Manoah has been consistently good, permitting two earned runs or less 22 times with 22 quality starts. He has thrown seven innings or more in nine of his 28 games.
In four starts against the Orioles he is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA and a WHIP of 0.932. The Orioles have hit just .180 with an OPS of .533 as a team this season versus Manoah.