The Baltimore Orioles will have revenge on their minds Monday night when they open a three-game series at Toronto, to face a Blue Jays team who swept three games from them last week.
The Orioles (51-105) bounced back from the sweep to complete their home schedule Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The Blue Jays (63-93) return home after a 4-2 road trip that ended with an 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees — their second straight loss after starting the trip 4-0.
Former Yankees outfielder Billy McKinney hit two home runs — his 10th and 11th — for the Blue Jays on Sunday. He is the 13th Blue Jay to hit 10 or more home runs this season to match the major league record set by the Yankees earlier this year.
McKinney’s homers gave the Blue Jays a major league record with six rookies with 10 or more homers, as well.
“It’s cool to see and it’s kind of a promising look to the future for us,” McKinney told reporters after the game.
Right-hander Chandler Shepherd (0-0, 4.91 ERA) will pitch the opening game Monday in his second career start — and his second start against the Blue Jays, who will start right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-5, 6.48).
Shepherd allowed three runs on four hits in four innings against the Blue Jays last Tuesday. He struck out four and walked one in his third major league appearance but did not factor into the decision. The Blue Jays scored four runs in the ninth to win 8-5.
“I thought I threw some good pitches,” Shepherd told reporters after the game. “I made a couple of mistakes. They took advantage of it. I was excited to get out there and get that first start under my belt.”
“I thought Shep did a nice job,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde agreed. “He just made a couple of bad pitches for a couple of homers. But for a guy making his first major league start, I thought he threw strikes and got ahead of hitters. It took a little while to find his breaking ball. But he did a nice job for four innings and you’ll see him back out there.”
Buchholz will be making his sixth start since returning from shoulder inflammation that put him on the injured list May 9-Aug. 24. He is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA since coming back from the injury.
This will be the second straight start against the Orioles this season for Buchholz. He allowed 10 hits and seven runs over 3 2/3 innings Wednesday at Baltimore but escaped with a no-decision when the Blue Jays won 11-10.
He is 11-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 24 career games (21 starts) against Baltimore. He is 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 career games (20 starts) in Toronto.
The Blue Jays struck out 15 times Sunday and 42 times in the series against the Yankees. They have struck out 1,459 times this season, the seventh-highest total among major league teams.
“That’s an adjustment we have to make for the (rest of the season) and for next year,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said recently. “Two guys have great approaches with two strikes (and) are hitting .300 — Reese McGuire (.318) and Bo Bichette (.311.). Hopefully it gets to be contagious.”
Bichette has missed the past three games with a concussion after being hit on the helmet with a pitch Thursday in Baltimore.
–Field Level Media