Over the first three games of this weekend’s series in Toronto, the Orioles and Blue Jays have combined for 76 hits and 45 runs here at the Rogers Centre.
With 21 more combined hits in this afternoon’s series finale, the teams will match the record for hits in a four-game Orioles-Jays series at the Rogers Centre. The record of 97 hits was set on June 23-26, 2003.
I asked Orioles manager Buck Showalter before the game why the Rogers Centre has become such a hitter-friendly park. He just put his hands over his head and said he would say if he knew.
One part of it has to be that pitchers – for some reason – tend to have difficulty getting a grip on their pitches here, which might lead to flatter pitches. Orioles right-hander Freddy Garcia said yesterday that he’s always had problems getting a feel for the ball.
But the Orioles have right-hander Miguel Gonzalez on the mound. He has a 3.12 road ERA, the second lowest by an AL pitcher since the beginning of the 2012 season with a minimum of 75 innings. He trails only Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (3.01)
Here are today’s lineups:
Orioles: McLouth 7, Machado 5, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Davis 3, Hardy 6, Wieters 2, Valencia DH, Casilla 4, Gonzalez 1.
Blue Jays: Cabrera 7, Bautista 9, Encarnacion 3, Lind DH, Arencibia 2, Lawrie 5, Gose 8, Bonifacio 4, Kawasaki 6, Jenkins 1