Steven Matz, Blue Jays seek series win vs. Orioles

MLB

The surging Toronto Blue Jays will go for the series win when they visit the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

The Blue Jays have won 13 of 15, including a memorable doubleheader sweep of the Orioles on Saturday after dropping Friday night’s series opener.

Toronto entered the seventh inning of each game Saturday trailing and rallied for the win. The Blue Jays (79-63) got eight homers from eight different players in the doubleheader, winning 11-10 and 11-2 as they chase a playoff berth.

The Jays are tied with the New York Yankees for the second American League wild-card spot.

“I just think this is a very resilient team, and to get down early but to keep scratching and clawing every game is huge for us,” Toronto’s George Springer said. “Obviously, every game counts, and this is a good day for us as a team. It’s on to tomorrow.”

Left-hander Steven Matz (11-7, 3.70 ERA) looks to continue his superb run in Sunday’s series finale. Matz has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his past seven starts. Last time out he stifled the New York Yankees, allowing a run on seven hits over six innings. He stuck out six without a walk and bested ace Gerrit Cole.

“(Robbie) Ray and Matz probably have the best ERAs after the trade deadline,” Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said after the game. “That’s outstanding. Matz today was facing one of the best pitchers in baseball on the other side, so there’s no room for error. He’s got to give us a chance, and he did.”

Matz is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two career starts versus the Orioles. The loss came on July 6 when he gave up four runs — three earned — in four innings at Baltimore.

Rookie left-hander Zac Lowther (0-1, 6.91) will make his third start in his seventh major-league game for the Orioles (46-96). Lowther pitched well enough to win on Monday, surrendering one run on three hits in six innings of a no-decision against the Kansas City Royals after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day.

“I thought he threw the ball really well,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I’m really happy with the strikes — he worked ahead of hitters. I liked the tempo on the mound. … He looked a little sharper than when he was up here previously.”

In his only appearances against the Blue Jays, Lowther allowed one run on two hits in two innings of a 10-2 loss on July 7.

Orioles starter Keegan Akin took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Saturday’s second game, but the Blue Jays erupted for 11 runs on 11 hits off three pitchers in an 11-2 win.

“No-hitter going into the seventh inning with an extremely short bullpen for Game 2 and was hoping, obviously, that he could finish it,” Hyde said.

Toronto got seventh-inning homers from Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, Marcus Semien and Teoscar Hernandez.

Springer was the hero in the opener as the Blue Jays rallied from a 10-5 deficit. They scored four in the seventh, two on Springer’s home run. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Danny Jansen also homered.

The Orioles also got four homers in the opener, two from Austin Hays, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games before it was snapped in the nightcap.

–Field Level Media

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