Orioles face Jays trying for first three-game sweep of year
Baltimore comes into this game with a 39-94 record after winning the first two games of this series, the latest being a 12-5 victory on Tuesday that gave Josh Rogers a victory in his first major league start.
The Orioles have won at least three in a row twice this season, with four straight being the team’s longest winning streak. But they’ve never swept a three-game series.
Baltimore will send out Alex Cobb (4-15, 5.00 ERA) to start against Ryan Borucki (3-3, 4.12) in the series finale.
Cobb has pitched much better since the All-Star break despite his record. The veteran right-hander has allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts.
He has a 3-5 career record with a 4.34 ERA versus the Blue Jays. Cobb has found a much better feel for his splitter, which can be an out pitch for him.
Borucki will make his first career appearance against the Orioles. The rookie has not gone against Baltimore yet, and now he will try to stop the sweep in his 12th start of 2018.
Interestingly, the Orioles came into this series with a 1-12 record against the Blue Jays. Toronto won all 10 games versus Baltimore when the teams met in Canada, but the two had played just three times in Camden Yards in 2018 — where the Orioles were 1-2.
Baltimore has gotten plenty of offense from rookie center fielder Cedric Mullins, dealing with a sore left hip that kept him out of two of the last three games, including Tuesday’s.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter played Mullins Monday but elected to be careful Tuesday and didn’t put him until late as a defensive replacement.
“He was OK last night, a little sore today, but nothing he probably couldn’t play with,” Showalter said. “But I just want to get ahead of it. I’m hoping he can continue to make improvements needed to hit from both sides of the plate.”
The Blue Jays had won five in a row before losing the final game of the Phillies’ series on Sunday. Now, they’ve dropped three straight and allowed 19 runs to Baltimore in the first two games of this series.
Toronto needs to do a better job of not falling behind early against the Orioles. It’s happened both times in this series.
On Monday, there was nothing the Jays could do in a 7-0 loss. They fell behind 7-1 early in Tuesday’s game and cut the lead to four but Baltimore eventually ended up with the victory.
The weather also could be an issue as the game-time temperature was 92 with humidity making it feel like 100 degrees Tuesday, probably one reason that rookie Thomas Pannone struggled in his 3 1/3-inning effort in the 12-5 loss.
More of the same is forecast for Wednesday in the series finale.
“It’s not an easy night to pitch,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Man, you’re sweating bullets out there.”