The visiting Baltimore Orioles will be looking for some timely hits on Sunday afternoon as they try to salvage the finale of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles were 2-for-7 hitting with runners in scoring position Saturday in a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays (83-63) have an 8-7 lead in the season series with the Orioles (75-69). The teams close the season with a three-game series in Baltimore on Oct. 3-5.
Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson delivered a two-run single in the third inning Saturday. He doubled in the eighth and scored on Terrin Vavra’s single.
Henderson is batting .500 (5-for-10) with runners in scoring position with nine RBIs since he was promoted on Aug. 31. His teammates are hitting .171 (17-for-99) with 23 RBIs with runners in scoring position in that span.
“Unfortunately, we’re struggling a bit,” Anthony Santander said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones after a two-hit game. “We’re not coming through with those hits in the moments we need them, and unfortunately it’s just a process and the rut we’re stuck in right now.”
“Gunnar continues to do what he’s been doing, and Terrin (has come through) with some good at-bats,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “But you’ve got to be able to score runs against these guys. They’re going to score runs. You’ve got to be able to outscore them, and three runs (Saturday), that’s tough to win games against these guys in this park with that.”
The Blue Jays got their key hit with Raimel Tapia’s three-run double in the fifth inning.
The Orioles did not help themselves.
Baltimore botched a double steal when rookie Adley Rutschman started to race toward second base and Cedric Mullins tried for home, but Rutschman stopped. It enabled shortstop Bo Bichette to return catcher Danny Jansen’s throw and Mullins was caught between third and home. He was tagged out.
‘”(Mullins) just kind of froze a little bit,” Hyde said. “We’re trying to steal a run. (Third baseman Matt) Chapman’s playing way off. We have a fast guy on third base, and he just kind of froze a little bit.”
“Just good execution all around,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “At that part of the order, we’re definitely going to try to take an out and try to get out of the inning.”
Orioles third baseman Ramon Urias was charged with a throwing error on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s one-out grounder in the fifth that prolonged the inning in which Tapia delivered his big hit.
Toronto right-hander Alek Manoah (14-7, 2.43 ERA) will pitch the series finale.
In seven career starts against Baltimore, he is 3-1 with a 3.07 ERA.
Baltimore will start right-hander Dean Kremer (7-5, 3.34) on Sunday. He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) against Toronto.
Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle (elbow contusion) left the game in the middle of the second inning after being hit by a pitch from Jose Berrios. X-rays were negative.
“It got him in the elbow, right above the tricep,” Hyde said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but it’s really sore right now.”
Schneider said that Alejandro Kirk (left hip tightness), who has not played since Tuesday, could be behind the plate on Sunday.
Guerrero had two infield hits to extend his hit streak to 11 games, going 15-for-48 (.313).
–Field Level Media