Blue Jays go for series sweep against Orioles
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays hope to continue a trend Sunday afternoon when they try to complete a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Blue Jays have pretty much had their way with the Orioles this season. Using three unearned runs, the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 4-1 on Saturday afternoon and now have an 8-1 advantage in the season series.
The Orioles will start right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-9, 4.56 ERA) and Toronto will counter with left-hander J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29).
The Blue Jays have won six in a row against the Orioles, their longest winning streak against them since they won 12 straight in 2010.
Toronto won a game without hitting a home run for the third time this season on Saturday and are 3-23 in such games.
The Orioles have scored one or no runs in 27 games this season, the most in the majors.
Baltimore will need to make a roster move before the game Sunday as Cashner comes off the disabled list (neck strain). He has not pitched since July 10. Cashner will be seeking his first win since May 21. He is 0-4 with a 4.37 ERA in eight starts since.
Cashner is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against Toronto this season. He is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays.
Happ, who continues to be the subject of trade rumors, was the only Blue Jays player at the All-Star Game on Tuesday and he picked up the save in the American League's win.
Happ has struggled in his past three starts, going 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA even though all five runs he allowed in 3 2/3 innings on July 12 against the Boston Red Sox were unearned.
He is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against Baltimore this season. In 17 career games (16 starts) against the Orioles, he is 6-6 with a 3.09 ERA.
After Tyler Clippard blew the save in Toronto's 8-7, 10-inning win on Friday, Ryan Tepera picked up his seventh save of the season with a perfect ninth inning Saturday with some help by a catch by center fielder Randal Grichuk.
Tepera was on the DL from June 28 to July 14 with right elbow inflammation. He has pitched 2 1/3 innings without giving up a run since his return, including one batter Friday to finish the ninth inning.
"I thought he looked good in Boston the other day, his first outing in awhile," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He had a clean inning, then of course the All-Star break, and he came back (Friday) night.
"I think he looks fine. It wasn't something we were really worried about, but it got his attention. Watching him pitch last night and (Saturday), I don't think you'd know he had any issues. We'll keep an eye on it. We'll be smart."
The Orioles continued to have problems in the field. Shoddy defense cost them in each of the first two games of the series.
A key play of the game came in Toronto's three-run fourth Saturday. With Justin Smoak at first and no outs, Yangervis Solarte grounded the ball to Orioles starter Alex Cobb, who threw to second in an attempt to start a double play. Cobb's throw led shortstop Tim Beckham in front of the bag and his throw to first was too late to catch Solarte.
Smoak was first called out at second, but the Blue Jays challenged and won. Both runners were safe after Beckham was charged with an error.
"You could probably have given (the error) to either one," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I'm not sure. I'd have to look at it, if he's flying across there and didn't have time to anchor. The clock should tell you with the guy that hit the ball, and it's slow developing, that you don't have a play at first, so there is no reason to hurry. You kind of anchor and get the out.
"You know, those are things we are having trouble executing. The physical mistakes that are obvious to everybody. There are some other things we are not doing."
Updated July 21, 2018