Orioles on deck: What to watch Tuesday at Blue Jays, plus series matchups

Josh Land
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles (37-38) vs. Blue Jays (36-39)

Where: Rogers Centre

First pitch: 7:07 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2/105.7 FM

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (3-7, 6.47 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RHP Joe Biagini (2-6, 4.45 ERA)

Series matchup

Offense (MLB rank)

Runs per game: Orioles (4.59, 19th); Blue Jays (4.32, 25th)

Average: Orioles (.257, 14th); Blue Jays (.248, 21st)

Home runs: Orioles (109, eighth); Blue Jays (101, t-13th)

OPS: Orioles (.745, 18th); Blue Jays (.735, 23rd)

Pitching (MLB rank)

Team ERA: Orioles (5.15, 29th); Blue Jays (4.33, 15th)

Starters' ERA: Orioles (5.78, 29th); Blue Jays (4.68, 18th)

Bullpen ERA: Orioles (4.28, 16th); Blue Jays (3.80, ninth)

Fielding (MLB rank)

Fielding percentage: Orioles (.984, 15th); Blue Jays (.983, 20th)

Errors: Orioles (45, t-12th fewest); Blue Jays (47, t-16th fewest)

UZR/150: Orioles (-2.7, 23rd); Blue Jays (-2.3, 22nd)

Defensive runs saved: Orioles (-10, 23rd); Blue Jays (-30, 28th)

What to watch

1. Separation series. The Orioles began a stretch of nine straight games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays by taking two of three in St. Petersburg, Fla. It was the Orioles' first road series win since April 18-20 at the Cincinnati Reds. Now the Orioles look to make it two in a row in a visit to the last-place Blue Jays. This past weekend pulled the Orioles within 1 1/2 games of the Rays for third place in the American League East, and gave them a one-game lead over the Blue Jays. If the Orioles can continue to win -- and they're already 7-2 against Toronto this season -- it will get them a more serious cushion, and also get them back on the heels of the AL East leaders. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are tied for first, 4 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles.

2. Gausman trends. Kevin Gausman's disappointing season just might be turning back in a positive direction, and tonight will be a good indicator as to whether that's the case. Gausman's last outing was his best in nearly a month; he struck out nine and allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings. Gausman had a 9.19 ERA over his previous three starts, a tumble from his best run of the season -- a 3.00 ERA over three starts from May 20-31.

3. Changing their colors. These aren't the same struggling Blue Jays the Orioles beat up on earlier this season. The Orioles won seven of their first eight meetings this season against Toronto, but starting with a win in their ninth meeting, the Blue Jays have gone 18-13 and several times pulled to within a game of .500. They've figured out how to win again and made the AL East far more interesting. The Orioles never have an easy time at Rogers Centre, and with the Blue Jays trending up, that should be no different over the next three days.

Orioles lineup

RF Seth Smith
3B Manny Machado
2B Jonathan Schoop
CF Adam Jones
DH Mark Trumbo
1B Trey Mancini
C Welington Castillo
LF Hyun Soo Kim
SS Paul Janish

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