The Baltimore Orioles will try to pick up where they left off last week when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game series that opens Monday night.
The Orioles won the first two games of a three-game set between the teams on Aug. 8-9 in Baltimore. The third game, scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed because of rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sept. 5.
The Orioles and Blue Jays, both contending for American League wild-card spots, will play each other 13 more times, including a three-game series in Baltimore to end the regular season.
The Orioles last visited Toronto in mid-June, and the teams split four games.
Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (4-6, 5.13 ERA) is scheduled to start for Toronto on Monday. He is 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles.
Rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish (1-4, 6.42 ERA) will start for Baltimore. He is 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA in two starts against Toronto, both this season.
After a 3-5 road trip, the Blue Jays dropped two of three games to the Cleveland Guardians to open a six-game homestand.
Toronto lost the rubber match to the Guardians on Sunday afternoon 7-2. Cleveland outscored Toronto 16-4 in the series.
The Orioles lost the rubber match of a three-game series 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays at St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday.
Tampa Bay’s Drew Rasmussen took a perfect game into the ninth inning, but Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo doubled to lead off the ninth inning.
“It was definitely a relief,” Mateo said through team translator Brandon Quinones. “No team wants to have that on them and be the team that got a perfect game against them. It was definitely nice to get that hit in the last inning. We’ve been playing well; hopefully we can keep it going soon.”
Mateo eventually scored on a wild pitch.
“A lot of early count, weak outs,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “That helped (Rasmussen) out. But he threw a heck of a game.”
The losses on Saturday and Sunday dropped Baltimore from sole possession of the final wild-card spot to 1 1/2 games behind the Rays. The Orioles have lost the season series to the Rays, Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins, which could matter in tiebreaker scenarios.
“We’ve got to turn the page on this one, and we’re going to face a really good Toronto team (Monday),” Hyde said. “It was a disappointing way to end this series, but we’ve got to move on now.”
Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 0-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday to end his hitting streak at a career-best 22 games. In his past six games, he is 5-for-26.
Guerrero had a chance to extend his streak with two runners on and two out in the seventh inning with Cleveland leading 5-2.
Guardians starter Shane Bieber completed his seven-inning stint by getting Guerrero to ground out to third.
“That’s a matchup we wanted, with him being the tying run,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “It just didn’t go our way.”
Before Trent Thornton allowed two runs in the ninth on Sunday, Toronto’s bullpen had pitched 12 2/3 consecutive runless innings.
“We’ve asked a lot of them, especially this series, and they’ve definitely answered the bell,” Schneider said. “It’s been really cool knowing that we have that safety net. They’ve been outstanding.”
–Field Level Media