The Orioles are coming off of a 10-game homestand where they went 4-6 against the Indians, Red Sox and Angels. They head into Toronto where they have not had much recent success. In 2010, Toronto won the season series 15-3, with all six series coming in a three game sweep for the winning club. Baltimore is 227-267 all time.
The Orioles may look very different when they pack their bags to come back to the states, as many of their everyday players may be heading to different clubs. DH Vladimir Gurrero (who was just activated from the DL today) along with Derek Lee and Jeremy Guthrie have all fell victim to trade rumors.
The Blue Jays (51-51) have made a statement in the AL East and are looking to make serious moves for a spot in the post-season. Slugger Jose Bautista leads the majors in home runs (31) walks (81) and OBP (.466) to name a few. He has reached base safely in 86 of his 91 games this season.
Toronto will unleash Baltimore’s least-favorite opponent, Adam Lind, who is batting .556 with five long balls against the Orioles. Baltimore will attempt to counter that with Alfredo Simon, who is coming off a strong outing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Tuesday, July 26 at 7:07—RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 5.02 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (7-4, 4.34 ERA)
Jake Arrieta hasn’t won a decision since June 20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While his last outing against Boston was a sign of progress, he surrendered two home runs in the 0-4 loss. Arrieta pitched seven innings and gave up nine hits and three runs. He struck out four. This season, Arietta has given up 14 hits in only 12.2 innings against the Blue Jays. He has posted an ERA of 4.26 against the Jays.
Brandon Morrow has been a hot pitcher as of late. He has gone at least seven innings in six of his last seven starts. In his most recent outing against the struggling Seattle Mariners, Morrow gave up three runs on seven hits. He has also been a strikeout machine, knocking down at least 5 batters in every start since June 18.
Wednesday, July 27 at 7:07—RHP Alfredo Simon (2-3, 4.08 ERA) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (7-9, 3.27 ERA)
Simon had a great outing against the Angels in his last appearance. His 6.2 innings of work allowed only two runs. While the Angels took the game, Simon proved that he could keep the Orioles in games.
Romero’s last outing against the Mariners yielded four runs on only five hits in 7.1 innings of work. One bright spot for the lefty was the nine strikeouts he recorded against the M’s. Against Baltimore, Romero has given up six runs in 15.2 innings of work. He has fanned 17 Birds, while walking seven.
An interesting matchup, the Simon-Morrow outing could shape up for a pitcher’s duel. Look to see both starters going at least seven innings and the outcome be determined by a late-inning rally.
Thursday, July 28 at 7:07—RHP Brad Bergesen (2-6, 5.54 ERA) vs. Carlos Villanueva (5-2, 3.40 ERA)
Bergesen calmed a lot of Oriole fans with his stellar performance in his last start against the Angels. In the only win of the series, Bergesen gave up six hits in as many innings. His only blemish was a home run surrendered early on. Once he settled in, Bergesen was able to take control of the game and get a much-needed win for the O’s.
Villanueva’s last appearance came in Arlington where he had an early exit. His three earned runs on ten hits forced the Jays to turn to their bullpen in the fifth inning. Villanueva hasn’t gone more than six innings in his last five starts.
By the Numbers:
- J.J. Hardy is batting .400/.444/.800 with four doubles and two home runs in six games against the Blue Jays this season.
- The Orioles are 4-2 vs. Toronto this season.
- The Orioles have won 40 games this season, which puts them over two weeks ahead from last year.
- The Orioles only walked once in the series against the Angels.
- Matt Wieters received the Orioles Heart and Hustle Award from the Major League Baseball Players Association on Sunday. The award goes to those who show passion for the game and who best embodies the values, spirit and tradition that have been synonymous Major League Baseball for generations.