The Baltimore Orioles, one of the surprise teams this season, enter a three-game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Monday as a strong offensive team that’s posing problems for its opponents.
Baltimore is 12-9 and sitting in third place in the American League East, three games out of first place. Toronto is 3 1/2 games behind the Orioles and coming off two tough losses on Sunday – the first a completion of a suspended game from Saturday, and then the regularly scheduled game.
The Orioles, who swept Washington on Aug. 7-9 but lost two of three to the Nationals this past weekend, have shown an ability to come back from big holes.
On Sunday, the Orioles fell behind 3-0 in the first and then 5-1 later to Max Scherzer, but home runs from Pedro Severino and Anthony Santander, his second of the game, pulled them even before a late error gave the Nationals the 6-5 win.
Santander finished with two RBIs, giving him 15 in his last 10 games and in the AL lead with 22. His seven homers are a team high and tied for fourth in the league.
“He’s showed up this year and is really swinging the bat well and driving the baseball,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Both homers were blasted to right field, and Santander, a switch hitter, said, through a translator to MLB.com, that he was just looking to hit the ball hard.
“I was just trying to be aggressive in the strike zone,” he said. “[Scherzer] is definitely one of the best of all time, so I’m very thankful for that.”
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, lost Sunday’s regularly scheduled game to the Rays 7-5 when Willy Adames homered off Wilmer Font in the eighth.
Toronto suffered a bigger loss when shortstop Bo Bichette went on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain. He didn’t play in the completion of the suspended game Sunday, and MLB.com said the Jays still were doing tests.
But they put him on the IL after that first contest. Bichette has started strong this season, hitting .361 with five home runs. Taking Bichette’s roster spot will be Santiago Espinal, who can play all around the infield and outfield.
The big question is how long Bichette is going to be out, and that is not known yet.
“I don’t really have a timeline,” manager Charlie Montoyo said to MLB.com. “It just wasn’t good news for everybody when we heard it today.”
Left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (1-1, 4.05 ERA) will start Monday for Toronto. He’s 1-0 with a 7.50 career mark in his only appearance against the Orioles.
Baltimore has not announced a starter, though ESPN lists Alex Cobb (1-1, 2.75), and the Baltimore Sun speculated it would be Cobb as well.
In his most recent start, Cobb went 5 1/3 innings at Philadelphia, allowing two runs on three hits. It matched the longest of his four starts this season.
Cobb is 3-5 with a 4.67 ERA in 11 starts covering 61 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays.
–Field Level Media
–Field Level Media