Randal Grichuk will have another chance to torment the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon as the Toronto Blue Jays try to take the four-game series at Buffalo, N.Y.
Grichuk has hit 20 career homers against the Orioles after his three-run blast on Saturday helped the Blue Jays to a 12-4 victory. Grichuk was 3-for-4 with a walk and added an RBI single.
Grichuk has 51 RBIs in 46 career games against Baltimore, batting .335 (61-for-182) with 18 doubles and an OPS of 1.149. His .775 slugging average against the Orioles is the highest against them by any player with a minimum of 150 plate appearances.
“I just see the ball well,” said Grichuk, who has 14 homers this season. “Obviously, Baltimore is a great place to hit so you get up to go hit when you’re there.”
The Blue Jays have won two of the first three games of the series. They will start right-hander Ross Stripling (2-4, 4.33 ERA) against Orioles right-hander Jorge Lopez (2-9, 5.68).
Stripling faced the Orioles once last season, allowing three hits and two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief. He is 0-0 with a 7.36 ERA in two career relief appearances against Baltimore.
Lopez will be facing the Blue Jays for the first time since Sept. 25. He is 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA in five career games (three starts) against Toronto.
The Blue Jays scored all of their runs on Saturday with two outs.
“That’s huge,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said, “It’s tough to get hits with two outs so to get that many runs with two outs, that’s impressive. A great job by our hitters.”
The Orioles, who ended a 20-game road losing streak with a 6-5 win in 10 innings on Friday, have lost 15 of their past 17 games.
The Blue Jays, who blew a 5-1 lead in the eighth in the loss on Friday, had no trouble putting it behind them.
“New day, new game,” said Teoscar Hernandez, who had a solo homer and three RBIs on Saturday.
Vladimir Guerrero hit his 26th homer of the season for Toronto, a two-run shot in the third.
After starter Keegan Akin allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings on Saturday, the Orioles had two pitchers make their major league debuts: Konner Wade (six runs in 1 2/3 innings) and Alexander Wells (two runless innings).
The Orioles lost shortstop Freddy Galvis in the second inning on Saturday when he injured his right quadriceps beating out a bunt single. He was to have an MRI.
“It’s pretty upsetting,” Akin said. “Very good defender, and veteran guy, you don’t want to see him go down like that, so hopefully, he’s all right.”
Baltimore’s Ryan Mountcastle drew a walk for the third straight game Saturday and has four free passes in that span. He had three walks in his previous 40 games combined May 4-June 23.
“I see much better strike zone management,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s done an amazing job of understanding and making adjustments.”
Toronto right-hander Alek Manoah, who pitched six innings Friday, started serving a five-game suspension Saturday after dropping his appeal. He was suspended after being ejected June 19 for hitting Baltimore’s Maikel Franco with a pitch after the Orioles hit two straight homers. The benches cleared.
–Field Level Media