Blue Jays, Orioles hope to keep up the pace
The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays renew their spirited American League East rivalry on Monday at Camden Yards with both teams looking to keep the momentum going after a successful weekend.
The Orioles won three of four games against the host New York Yankees, including two in extra innings. The Blue Jays took two of three against the Texas Rangers.
"The Yankees made it tough on us," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They came back on us and almost broke our hearts. Sometimes you want something too much because this game will break your heart."
Right-hander Dylan Bundy, the Orioles' most consistent starter, is on the mound for the opener. He is off to a strong start, allowing one run in 13 innings. Bundy (0-0, 0.69 ERA) has struck out 15 and walked three batters this season.
Bundy has been dominant against Toronto, going 3-0 with a 0.76 ERA in seven appearances, including three starts.
"I feel good about where I'm at right now and my body and the way I'm recovering," Bundy said. "So you just want to take the ball when you're told to and go out there and try to give your team a chance to win."
The Blue Jays will counter with left-hander J.A. Happ (1-1, 5.40). He struck out nine batters in his last outing against the Chicago White Sox but allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"I felt like we were using everything and throwing everything for strikes," Happ said after the game.
Happ is 4-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) against Baltimore. He also has gone 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA at Camden Yards.
The Blue Jays' offense has gotten a boost from Yangervis Solarte, who had another two hits Sunday and is batting .308.
"He's got some big-time pop," Toronto manager John Gibbons of Solarte. "He takes a rip. When he hits, it's got a chance to go a long way.
"From either side of the plate, it doesn't really matter. Yeah, we're excited about him, he's off to a good start."
The Orioles hope to get Chris Davis back in the lineup after he missed the series finale against the Yankees with an illness. Davis has struggled so far this season and is batting .100.
Trey Mancini played first base and Craig Gentry started in right field on Sunday.
"He hasn't slept in a while. He's been hacking all night," Showalter said about Davis. "Things that guys have. The weather certainly wouldn't help it, standing out here in this stuff, and turn into something that's five or six days, so I just thought it would be smart to be cautious with it."
Mark Trumbo is also progressing after starting the season on the DL with a quad strain. He will play first base at extended spring training Monday.
"I know he and we are cautious about not rushing this," Showalter said. "I know in the past with the Angels he said he rushed it one time and it really set him back, so I'm going to really have a lot of confidence in what he's telling us.
"He's close to going out, but I'm not going to say for sure it's imminent after Monday, but I'm hoping it is."
Updated April 8, 2018