O’s game blog: Yovani Gallardo faces Toronto, plus some farm notes

The Orioles host the surging Toronto Blue Jays today in the second game of this three-game series. Since beating Toronto 6-5 on June 9 at Rogers Centre, the Orioles have lost four in a row to the Blue Jays.

O’s pitching has allowed 38 runs in those four games, with 34 runs coming in the last three games against the Blue Jays. Toronto has put together some amazing offensive numbers lately. During their four-game win streak, the Blue Jays have outscored their opponents 44-10 and outhomered them 16-3. They have scored 65 runs the last seven games - and that includes one game where they were shut out.

For the first time, Toronto has scored 10 or more runs in five of seven games. Before this stretch, they did that just twice in the first 63 games of this season. The Blue Jays have scored a season-high 13 runs in back-to-back games. Toronto has hit 16 homers over the past four games.

The Blue Jays now have the best record in games within the American League East at .575 (23-17) with the Orioles second at .552 (16-13).

gallardo-pitching-white-sidebar.jpgO’s right-hander Yovani Gallardo gets the task of trying to slow Toronto’s rampaging offense this afternoon. Gallardo (1-1, 7.00 ERA) makes his first start since April 22 in Kansas City, when he left that outing after two innings with shoulder soreness.

Gallardo pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings against the Jays in the 2015 regular season and is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three career starts against them.

Right-hander R.A. Dickey (4-7, 4.16 ERA) gets the ball for Toronto. After posting an ERA of 6.75 in April and 3.20 in May, he is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three June starts. Dickey gave up three runs over six innings this season on April 20 against the Orioles. In 15 career games (12 starts) he is 2-6 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.163 WHIP against Baltimore.

On the farm: The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds’ attempt to win a first half division title in the South Atlantic League took a hit last night. Even though Delmarva beat Hickory 4-1, first-place Hagerstown won a doubleheader and Delmarva is two games back with three to play. The Shorebirds need to go 3-0 the next two days (with a doubleheader today), while Hagerstown would have to go 0-2 for Delmarva to get a division title.

The Shorebirds have had some June. The team is 12-5 this month with a 2.26 ERA and 22 homers, all league bests. The Shorebirds have a seven-game win streak going into today’s doubleheader at Hickory.

Delmarva is 40-26 and since qualifying for the 2005 playoffs, and has posted 40 or more wins in a half just two times. Pitcher Cristian Alvarado leads the league with 81 strikeouts, Alex Murphy is tied for first with 12 homers and Ryan Mountcastle is batting .368 since May 1.

Meanwhile, Triple-A Norfolk pitcher Oliver Drake is on a roll right now. Over his last three-plus games, batters are 0-10 with 10 strikeouts and one walk against Drake. The right-hander from the Naval Academy has now recorded 13 straight scoreless outings.

Double-A Bowie’s Garabez Rosa is batting .390 (39-for-100) with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs, 12 runs scored, and 20 RBIs over his last 24 games with the Baysox.

Short-season Single-A Aberdeen opened its season last night with a 4-2 loss at Hudson Valley. Australian-born right-hander Alex Wells suffered the loss in his pro debut, allowing two runs on four hits over five innings. Randolph Gassaway went 2-for-4 with one RBI and shortstop Guillermo Salas went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

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