Mountcastle returns to Orioles lineup for opener of big series in Toronto

The Orioles walked away from one important series and stepped into another, with three games against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Yesterday’s loss to the Rays left the Orioles 1 ½ games away from the third wild card spot. The Twins and White Sox are a half-game behind them.

The Blue Jays are 35-23 at home. They’re 2-4 against the Orioles this season, splitting a four-game series in Toronto in June.

Ryan Mountcastle has returned to the lineup after sitting out yesterday’s game with a swollen left hand. He’s 12-for-25 with four doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs against the Blue Jays this season, and is a career .361/.414/.730 hitter with six doubles, 13 home runs and 26 RBIs in 31 games.

Cedric Mullins is on the bench, with Ryan McKenna leading off and playing center field.

Terrin Vavra is starting at second base and Tyler Nevin is batting ninth as the designated hitter.

Reliever Rico Garcia, infielder Richie Martin and catcher Anthony Bemboom are on the taxi squad.

Kyle Bradish made a June 13 start in Toronto and allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. His most recent start also came against the Blue Jays, when he allowed three runs and five hits in 5 1/3.

Bo Bichette hit two home runs that night, including one off Bradish.

Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has made 19 starts and posted a 5.13 ERA and 1.494 WHIP. He’s averaging 5.2 walks and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Kikuchi has faced the Orioles twice and allowed nine runs and 11 hits with seven walks in nine innings. He’s surrendered home runs to Mountcastle (two), Austin Hays, Ramón Urías and Anthony Santander.

Outfielder George Springer was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is batting .407/.448/.667 with a double and two home runs in six games against the Orioles. He’s a career .345/.390/.660 hitter with 12 doubles, 18 home runs and 46 RBIs in 51 games against the Orioles.

Guerrero’s 22-game hitting streak ended yesterday.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has reached base safely in 37 of his last 43 games while batting .353 (59-for-167) with 12 doubles, two home runs and 20 RBIs. His .354 average since the start of June is the highest in the majors.

Teoscar Hernández has 46 hits in his last 41 games, including 11 doubles and 10 home runs.

The Blue Jays lead the American League with a .263 average.

Toronto has lost six of its last eight games and seven of 10.

For the Orioles
Ryan McKenna CF
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Ramón Urías 3B
Austin Hays LF
Jorge Mateo SS
Terrin Vavra 2B
Tyler Nevin DH

Kyle Bradish RHP

For the Blue Jays
George Springer DH
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF
Teoscar Hernández RF
Bo Bichette SS
Matt Chapman 3B
Raimel Tapia CF
Whit Merrifield 2B
Danny Jansen C

Yusei Kikuchi LHP

The Orioles promoted pitchers Drew Rom and Ryan Watson to Triple-A Norfolk. Pitchers Cade Povich and Chayce McDermott, acquired in the Jorge López and Trey Mancini trades, respectively, move up to Double-A Bowie.

Single-A Delmarva announced the following additions, which includes 10 players selected in this year’s draft:

Pitchers: Cam Weston, Bradley Brehmer, Jared Beck, Keagan Gillies, Reese Sharp, Juan Nunez.

Catchers: Silas Ardoin, Adam Retzbach

Infielders: Max Wagner, Adam Crampton

Outfielders: Dylan Beavers, Jud Fabian’s Paul Mancano is in Toronto.

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