Now time for the final weekend of the season, the O’s have one more chance at the Blue Jays, as well as a chance at a 25-win season. At 24-33, the Birds will finish this season with more wins than anyone expected.
Coming into this series, the offense has some momentum, after a 13-run night Thursday to end the series against the Red Sox.
Historically, the Blue Jays have been an issue for the Orioles. Toronto has won six of their seven meetings this year and three of them by one run.
To win this series, the offense must support the pitching. Over the last week, Orioles pitching allowed three runs or less in three games and still lost two of those games. Besides two bad outings against Boston, the Orioles pitching has been solid but haven’t been picked up by the offense.
Here are The Baltimore Battery’s Keys to the Series:
1. Keep consistent offense through the ballgame. The Orioles have made it a trend over the last couple weeks to score early, then never again. Like last night, the offense must attack the pitching in every at-bat, which in turn leads to better pitches to hit and a lot of base runners.
2. Rack up the strikeouts. The Blue Jays offense is surely powerful, but it has one real downfall. They are fourth in the AL in strikeouts, which douses their incredible amount of extra-base hits. Keep the ball from being in play, and the Blue Jays won’t be able to have as much success.
3. Please don’t pitch to Randal Grichuk. Just don’t. Of his 10 home runs, five have come against the Orioles. Also, 14 of his 31 RBI came against Baltimore. A complete Oriole killer this year, Grichuk has single-handedly beat the O’s multiple times this year, and letting him get hot again will not end will for the Birds.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for game one:
1. Austin Hays CF
2. José Iglesias DH
3. DJ Stewart RF
4. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
5. Rio Ruiz 3B
6. Hanser Alberto 2B
7. Chance Sisco C
8. Ramón Urías SS
9. Cedric Mullins CF
Jorge López RHP
Tonight’s game is available on MASN and on the Orioles Radio Network. First pitch is scheduled for 6:37 p.m. EST.
Let’s Go O’s!