Blue Jays go for sweep of Orioles
TORONTO -- Misery likes company.
The Toronto Blue Jays, who are out of contention for the postseason, are doing their best to put the Baltimore Orioles in the same situation.
They can push the Orioles closer to elimination Wednesday as they go for a three-game sweep in the series finale at the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays, who scored two runs in the ninth inning Tuesday to claim a 3-2 victory, have won four games in a row.
The Orioles have lost six in a row and are 4 1/2 games out of the second American League wild-card spot held by the Twins. The Blue Jays are 7 1/2 games behind Minnesota.
During their losing streak, the Orioles have been outscored 28-10.
"We just haven't been able to score many runs," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "We give their pitchers all the credit they need to get, but it's kind of a two-edged sword. They're pitching well and we're not swinging the bats well."
The Orioles (71-74) will start right-hander Kevin Gausman (10-10, 4.99 ERA) Wednesday while the Blue Jays will send out right-hander Marcus Stroman (11-7, 3.18).
The Blue Jays (68-77) have had an infusion of energy from September call-ups, with 21-year-old Richard Urena going 3-for-5 and getting the game-ending single in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday.
"He's got a good, live, quick bat, he's getting strikes to hit and he's hit some breaking balls," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's relaxed and he's confident. He looks like he belongs. There's really no panic, he just looks like he's been playing here for a while.
"He knows he's good, you could see that in spring training the last couple years. Some guys play better up here, not a lot of them, but some do."
Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez contributed a big hit in the ninth on Tuesday and had a two-homer game against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Catcher Luke Maile, who hit the game-tying single Tuesday, has enjoyed the young players.
"Really awesome," Maile said. "It changes the dynamic of the team and how we score runs lately. You're not so much relying on someone hitting it over the fence, and that's refreshing. Not to say you don't enjoy the three-run homer because that always plays."
The Blue Jays figure to have a veteran back Wednesday. Catcher Russell Martin is scheduled to play in the series finale after being reinstated from the disabled list. He was sidelined since Aug. 12 due to a strained left oblique.
"He wants to (play) real bad," Gibbons said. "There's only a couple of weeks left. It's important to him. I could have gone either way, you know. But he wants to do it, so ..."
Martin said, "As a professional, when you're ready to go, you're ready to go. When you're a professional, you go out there, you compete. And if you're healthy, you go play and help your team win. That's what I'm going to try and do."
Gausman will be making his sixth start of the season against the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
He is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA against Toronto this season and 4-3, 3.30 in 17 games (12 starts) in his career against the Blue Jays.
Gausman is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two starts in September. He held the Blue Jays to five hits in six scoreless innings in a no decision on Sept. 1, then allowed five hits and five runs in three innings in a loss to the New York Yankees six days later.
Stroman will be trying for his first win since Aug. 16. In four starts since, he is 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA, but the team is 2-2.
He last faced the Orioles on Sept. 2 when he was knocked out in the second inning after being hit on the right elbow with a line drive by Mark Trumbo.
Stroman returned six days later and allowed six hits and four runs in six innings in a loss to the Detroit Tigers.
He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this season and 3-3 with a 4.29 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) vs. the Orioles.
Updated September 13, 2017