After being swept in a three-game series at home by the Toronto Blue Jays last week, the Baltimore Orioles will be seeking revenge Friday night when the teams open a four-game series in Buffalo.
The Blue Jays’ sweep Aug. 17-19 was part of a six-game winning streak that thrust them into postseason contention. The sweep was part of a six-game Orioles losing streak.
Both teams had their games postponed Thursday as part of the protest after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The Blue Jays had decided in a players-only meeting to play their game against the Boston Red Sox at Buffalo. The Red Sox, however, opted not to play when center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said he would sit out the game. The Blue Jays said they respected that decision and agreed to a postponement.
“I’ve been a victim of racism,” said Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who is from Puerto Rico. “I know some players have also been victims of racial discrimination. If a player wants to use his platform to make a statement about racial injustice, I fully support that.”
The Orioles had decided to play the game with the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., in their first team meeting Thursday. They decided not to play after meeting for a second time.
“To listen to our players talk, and their stories, and their experiences, it’s very moving,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “This is just a difficult time, that I’m learning a lot (from).
The Orioles are on the fringe of playoff contention, and the series in Buffalo is important to their chances. They lost 108 games last season.
“We’re just in a little different scenario right now where we’re hovering around .500,” Hyde said. “Our team has stayed competitive, so I’m trying to win as many games as possible.”
Toronto bolstered its pitching Thursday by acquiring right-hander Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named.
Walker (2-2, 4.00 ERA) could pitch against Baltimore.
Toronto expects to do more before the trade deadline on Monday.
“I would expect us to be extremely active,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. “What the results end up being, we’ll see. We would like to continue to add to our pitching, and we would like to continue to complement our offense.”
The Orioles, 8-3 on the road, made some roster moves Thursday, reinstating shortstop Jose Iglesias (left quadriceps) from the IL and selecting the contract of right-hander Cesar Valdez from their alternate training site. They optioned left-hander Keegan Akin and infielder Ramon Urias to their alternate site. Outfielder Dwight Smith, Jr. cleared waivers and was assigned to the alternate site.
The Blue Jays are expected to start left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.19 ERA) Friday. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings in a 7-2 win at Baltimore Aug. 17. In two career starts against the Orioles, he is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
The Orioles did not list a starter for Friday after the Thursday postponement. Left-hander John Means (0-2, 10.13 ERA) had been scheduled to pitch Thursday. He is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in one career start against Toronto, a five-inning outing last season.
Right-hander Alex Cobb (1-2, 3.73 ERA) had been listed as Baltimore’s Friday starter. He took the loss against Toronto on Aug 17, allowing five runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. In 12 career starts against Toronto, Cobb is 3-6 with a 4.87 ERA.
–Field Level Media