The Toronto Blue Jays will go for a four-game sweep over the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Monday afternoon in the finale of their series at Buffalo.
Toronto has won all six games between the teams this season, starting with a three-game sweep in Baltimore from Aug. 17-19.
The Orioles have not helped themselves against Toronto with an array of defensive and baserunning mistakes.
The Blue Jays have had two walk-off wins in their three victories in Buffalo, including Sunday when Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run single with two out in the bottom of the ninth. The 6-5 victory gives the Blue Jays 11 wins in their past 14 games.
The Orioles have lost five in a row.
Both of Toronto’s walkoff wins in the series came against closer Cole Sulser, who also gave up Randal Grichuk’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th on Friday.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde did not commit to keeping Sulser in the closer’s role.
“I think anything’s open right now, to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “He’s hit a little bit of a bump in the road in the ninth inning as of late, so I’ll keep my options open with whoever.”
There was a positive development for the Orioles in the loss on Sunday. Left fielder Ryan Mountcastle hit his first two major-league home runs for three RBIs and added a single.
“You saw the raw power,” Hyde said. “You saw his potential there. Just took really good at-bats.”
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have thrust themselves into contention for a playoff spot.
“It’s exciting,” said Blue Jays second baseman Cavan Biggio, who was 1-for-5 Sunday with one RBI to extend his on-base streak to 22 straight games. “If you look at our team, pitching and offensively, we’ve had some injuries that have hurt us a little bit. Seeing the front office going out and getting a guy like (starting pitcher Taijuan)Walker is nice to see.”
Walker, obtained in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, pitched six runless innings Saturday in a 5-0 victory in his Blue Jays’ debut.
“We’ve been grinding and had some success over the last couple of weeks,” Biggio said. “But he’s going to help us and when we get the other guys back, we’re going to be even better.”
Biggio is 26-for-81 (.321) with seven doubles, four doubles, four homers, 14 RBIs and 18 walks during his streak.
Hernandez had two hits Sunday and has a career-best 11-game hitting streak, going 14-for-38 (.368) with five homers and eight RBIs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had an RBI single for Toronto and is on a career-best 12-game hit streak. Guerrero is batting 16-for-44 (.364) with four doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBIs during his streak.
Right-hander Chase Anderson (0-0, 3.68 ERA) will make his fifth start for the Blue Jays on Monday. It will be his first career start against Baltimore.
The Orioles will start left-hander Keegan Akin (0-0, 8.10), who will be making his third major-league appearance and first start. He led the Triple-A International League with 131 strikeouts last season.
Left-hander Tommy Milone was supposed to start Monday for Baltimore but he was traded Sunday to the Atlanta Braves. The Orioles also traded right-handed reliever Mychal Givens to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
–Field Level Media