The Toronto Blue Jays have hit the ball well at times this season, especially in the first two games of a three-game set against the host Baltimore Orioles.
Toronto has scored 15 runs en route to two wins and will try for a series sweep Wednesday afternoon. The Blue Jays are coming off an 8-7 victory in 10 innings over the slumping Orioles. Baltimore has dropped three in a row and four of five.
With Bo Bichette (knee) on the 10-day injured list, the Blue Jays know that they have to simply hit to be competitive.
“We’ve just got to get the ball in play,” Randal Grichuk told The Toronto Sun a few days ago. If we can continue that, I think we are going to be a very dangerous club.”
Grichuk has been dangerous enough in the first two games. He has already knocked in eight runs — four in each game — and homered in both contests.
On Tuesday, Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer that capped the Jays’ five-run fifth inning. While the Jays are getting the ball in play, they’re getting it in the air.
On Wednesday, Toronto will go with right-hander Tanner Roark (1-1, 6.00), who has not pitched past five innings in his first three starts. Roark has a career record of 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Orioles.
Left-hander Tommy Milone (1-2, 4.00) starts for the Orioles, and he’s been up and down. He has been inconsistent overall but helped a Baltimore pitching staff that has missed top starter John Means.
Milone is 0-2 with a 5.21 career record in three starts vs. the Jays.
Baltimore has been strong on offense for much of the season, thanks to players like Anthony Santander, who banged out two more homers in Tuesday’s loss.
The outfielder ran his hitting streak to 13 games and raised his batting average to .298.
Mistakes in the 10th inning hurt the Orioles and doomed their chances of a win on Tuesday.
With one out and runners on second and third, first baseman Chris Davis was charged with an error on a tough throw home, which let Shaw scored with the winning run.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, Dwight Smith began the inning on second base. One out later, Cedric Mullins singled to center, but Smith ran through a stop sign and got nabbed after a rundown between third and home.
The Orioles lost a key player for a short period of time Tuesday when they put starting shortstop Jose Iglesias on the 10-day injured list due to a sore left quad.
The move is retroactive to Aug. 16, according to MLB.com. Iglesias is hitting .400 average with 10 RBIs in 16 games.
“We felt like it was the right thing to do,” manager Brandon Hyde said to the media, referring to the IL move. “We felt like giving him some extra days would benefit him and us for the rest of the season.”
Baltimore recalled infielder Ramon Urias from the alternate training site to fill in for Iglesias.
–Field Level Media