Blue Jays set sights on sweep of Orioles

By Larry Millson, The Sports Xchange
Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays face the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays face the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

It has been rare enough for the Blue Jays to have won a series this season, especially at home, let alone a sweep.


By defeating the Orioles 4-3 in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jays have won three games in a row for the first time since April 29-May 1. They have won their first series at home since April 17-18.

Almost fittingly, the winning run scored when Baltimore's Mychal Givens walked Luke Maile on four pitches with the bases loaded with two outs in the 10th.

The first three games of the series between struggling teams have been mostly close. The Blue Jays needed 10 innings twice to win and on Friday prevailed 5-1 by scoring once in each of their final four innings at the plate.


Toronto (29-35) will start right-hander Marco Estrada (2-6, 5.29 ERA) on Sunday afternoon while Baltimore (19-44) gives the ball to Alex Cobb (2-7, 6.19).

Estrada will be trying for his first win since April 20. In eight starts since, he is 0-5 with a 5.27 ERA. The team is 2-6 in those starts.

Estrada took the loss at Baltimore on April 11 when he allowed four runs, six hits and three walks. He is 7-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 16 career games (14 starts) against the Orioles.

Cobb is 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA in eight career starts against the Blue Jays.

"We've been playing good baseball since the end of last week," said Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who did not factor in the decision Saturday after allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. "To finally scratch out some wins, it's good for us. It keeps guys a little bit loose in here. We don't play so tight out there."

The Blue Jays played without second baseman Devon Travis, who had a sore right knee, the result of a play in which he and center fielder Kevin Pillar had a minor collision Friday.


The Orioles fell to to a major league-worst 9-26 on the road.

"We did create more opportunities," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But there's two parts to that, creating opportunities and cashing them in. That big hit has been elusive for us."

Showalter almost said his team failed to make "about" three plays in the field that will not show up in the box score. That pretty well sums up the way these two teams have been playing.

The Orioles received some help Saturday when right-handed reliever Darren O'Day was reinstated from the disabled list after missing five weeks with a hyperextended elbow. Left-hander Tanner Scott was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for him. O'Day did not pitch Saturday.

Closer Zach Britton could rejoin the team Monday. He has been out all season after surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

The Blue Jays are expecting the return of third baseman Josh Donaldson from tightness in his left calf any day. He had indicated that he might return from the disabled list on Friday, but it was decided to give him a couple more days.


The Blue Jays claimed right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday and designated right-hander Deck McGuire for assignment to create a spot on the 40-man roster.

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