The Baltimore Orioles will be out to end a 19-game road losing streak when they open a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night in Buffalo.
Should the Orioles get swept over the weekend, they would set the American League record for successive road losses at 23, one more than the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who will embark on a six-game road trip Friday, are riding a 23-game road losing skid, the worst in major league history.
Baltimore has barely been better at home, as it just concluded a 1-5 homestand by dropping the final five games. In all the Orioles have lost 13 of their past 14 contests, including a 13-0 destruction by the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
The Blue Jays are on a four-game winning streak after sweeping two games from the host Miami Marlins, including a 3-1 victory on Wednesday.
The Blue Jays started their streak by winning the final two games of a three-game series last weekend in Baltimore. It began with a six-run top of the ninth in Toronto’s 10-7 victory on Saturday.
The Orioles are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros.
Baltimore will start right-hander Dean Kremer (0-6, 6.20 ERA) on Thursday. The Blue Jays will go with left-hander Anthony Kay (0-2, 6.43).
Kremer will be facing the Blue Jays for his second straight start and also the second time in his career. He did not factor in the decision on Saturday when he allowed two runs on three hits (two home runs) and three walks while striking out six in six innings.
Kay allowed two runs and three hits (two home runs) in 3 1/3 innings of relief against the Orioles on Saturday. In three career relief outings against Baltimore, he is 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA.
The series in Miami marked the return of Blue Jays center fielder George Springer to the lineup. He previously was limited to four games this season because of oblique and quadriceps injuries. Springer went 0-for-7 with a walk against the Marlins.
Springer, normally a leadoff hitter, has batted fifth since his return. Manager Charlie Montoyo did not want to disrupt the top of the order, which has been so successful this season.
“I just know the guys who have been playing every day have earned every bit of what they’ve got,” Springer said. “I was pretty clear to Charlie that I will hit wherever he wants me to hit. I’m here for the guys.”
Teoscar Hernandez, who bats fourth, likes his position between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Springer: “It feels great. They have to throw to you and pitch to you. There’s no pitching around you or trying to walk you.”
Hernandez hit an RBI double after Guerrero walked in the first inning on Wednesday. Springer followed with an RBI groundout.
One thing could work in the Orioles’ favor on Thursday. In two close games against Miami, the Blue Jays used their three most effective relievers of late — Tyler Chatwood, Tim Mayza and Jordan Romano — for an inning both times. The three are not likely available to pitch on Thursday.
The Orioles, meanwhile, had right fielder Anthony Santander back in the lineup Wednesday after he missed two starts with a tender left ankle. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.
“Right now, he has good days and bad days,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Santander’s ability to deal with the injury. “We’re trying to manage it as best as we possibly can.”
–Field Level Media