O’s game blog: Trying to end streaks against Blue Jays

The Orioles can snap a losing streak of six straight and a road losing streak of 20 in a row if they can beat the Toronto Blue Jays tonight in Buffalo. The Blue Jays (38-35) host the Orioles (23-52) in the second game of a four-game series and a 10-game road trip for the O’s.

Right-hander Dean Kremer allowed six runs and got just one out last night before his first-inning knockout. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a grand slam as Toronto led 6-0 after an inning and 9-0 at the end of the third on its way to a 9-0 win. Toronto has won five in a row and is 11-3 versus the Orioles since the start of last year.

The Orioles have been shut out in back-to-back games and outscored 22-0 by Houston and Toronto. They’ve been outscored 35-3 in the last four games and have not scored in their past 24 innings. In the last six games, the Orioles are just 1-for-26 with runners in scoring position. They’ve now been shut out six times.

Right-hander Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.80 ERA) will make his 16th start tonight. To say he is struggling is an understatement. He is 0-7 with an ERA of 13.17 over his last eight starts, allowing 40 earned runs over 27 1/3 innings. During this span, batters are hitting .397 against him with an OPS of 1.112. He has thrown 4 2/3 innings or less in nine consecutive starts and the Orioles are 1-8 in those games.

Harvey’s last win came May 1 versus Oakland. He is 2-4 with an ERA of 8.51 on the road, allowing a .331 batting average against and an OPS of .835. Lefty batters have an OPS of .815 against Harvey and right-handers have an OPS of .966 against him.

Franco-Held-Back-in-Fracas-Blue-Jays-Sidebar.jpgRight-hander Alek Manoah (1-0, 4.18 ERA) will get the start for Toronto. The Orioles hit four homers off him in 3 1/3 innings on Saturday. In the last of the fourth, after Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart had hit back-to-back homers against him, Manoah hit third baseman Maikel Franco in the shoulder area and was ejected. He got suspended for five games for that, but has appealed the suspension. In announcing the suspension and an undisclosed fine that went it, Major League Baseball said he intentionally threw at Franco.

Manoah, 23, was Toronto’s first-round pick (No. 11 overall) out of West Virginia University in 2019. He signed for a bonus of $4.55 million.

Manoah made just nine career minor league starts, going 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in those games. He made six starts during the 2019 and three this year for Triple-A Buffalo, going 3-0 with an ERA of 0.50 with three walks and 27 strikeouts over 18 innings.

In his two starts for the Blue Jays before facing the Orioles, against two good clubs in the White Sox and Red Sox, he had allowed eight hits and two runs over 11 innings with three walks and nine strikeouts.

O’s outfielder Anthony Santander is just 1-for-11 over his past four games. He is 6-for-48 (.125) his past 12 games with no homers, no RBIs and 17 strikeouts.

Mountcastle has been on a batting tear this month. In 20 games in June, he’s batting .346 with three doubles, seven homers, 19 RBIs and an OPS of 1.032.

O’s pitching has allowed nine runs or more in five of the last eight games, yielding 63 runs in those games. Over the last 10 games, O’s starters have pitched to an ERA of 9.21 over 43 innings.

Lefty Alexander Wells and right-hander Konner Wade were added today from Triple-A Norfolk. They are looking to become the ninth and 10th Orioles to make their major league debuts this season. The Orioles’ eight major league debuts are currently tied with Seattle and Miami for the most in the majors. They would be the seventh and eighth Orioles pitchers to make their debuts in 2021.

Wells, a native of Newcastle, Australia, is looking to become the third Australian-born player in O’s history, joining right-handed pitcher John Stephens (from Sydney) in 2002 and lefty pitcher Damian Moss (from Darlinghurst) in 2003. Wells would be the 33rd-Australian born player in MLB history and the first to make his debut since outfielder Aaron Whitefield for Minnesota on July 25, 2020.

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