Orioles look to play spoiler against Blue Jays

MLB

The Baltimore Orioles will be out to prove again that they will not be a pushover for teams with playoff hopes when they play the rubber match of a three-game series against the host Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The Orioles ended a four-game losing streak and ended the Blue Jays’ win streak at three in a row when they took the second game of the set 4-2 on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays will start left-hander Steven Matz (10-7, 3.81 ERA) on Wednesday. Matz has faced Baltimore once in his career, taking the loss July 6 at Camden Yards when he allowed four runs (three earned) over four innings.

Right-hander Matt Harvey (6-14, 6.18) will get the call for Baltimore. He has made three starts against Toronto this season, going 0-2 with an 8.56 ERA. In four career starts against the Blue Jays, he is 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said he will know more today about the status of George Springer for the game on Wednesday.

Springer, who returned from a sprained knee on Monday, was removed for a pinch runner in the seventh inning after he pulled up abruptly and returned to second when he decided not to go first to third on a single on Tuesday. Springer had looked uncomfortable going into first base on a fielder’s choice grounder.

“It was just to be careful with him,” Montoyo said. “You all saw him rounding the bases, so we took him out just to be careful. … We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Springer, a center fielder, has been used as designated hitter in this series.

Danny Jansen homered for Toronto on Tuesday in his return from a strained hamstring. That gives the Blue Jays three catchers with Alejandro Kirk and Reese McGuire. Jansen started on Tuesday because he has worked well with starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu.

“Again, Kirk and Reese have done a good job,” Montoyo said. “But Danny Jansen is a pretty good catcher. Whenever he struggles (offensively), he doesn’t take it behind the plate with him, and I love guys like that. He’s defense first.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 39th homer of the season — the most by a Blue Jay since Edwin Encanarcion hit 42 in 2016 — on Tuesday after hitting two on Monday.

Guerrero, who was 1-for-4 Tuesday, is on a nine-game hitting streak. He is batting .361 (13-for-36) with three homers and seven RBIs in that span.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde gave Trey Mancini a day off Tuesday. Mancini has struggled since the All-Star break with four homers and nine RBIs. He missed all of 2020 for treatment after being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.

“I think whatever Trey Mancini has given us this year, it’s an absolute bonus, from what he went through last year,” Hyde said. “I don’t think anybody had any understanding of what his year was going to be, so for him to be in the lineup 90-plus percent of the time is a credit to him and shows a lot about his character and how much he wants to be out there. … I’m giving him the day off today because he’s just so hard on himself and he feels like he needs to produce. I’m just happy to see him on a daily basis.”

–Field Level Media

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