Spotting the opposition nine runs isn’t usually thought of as a good way to avoid a three-game sweep, and that was proven yesterday by the Baltimore Orioles as they fell 13-5 to Toronto. Ultimately, when Freddy Garcia gives up seven runs to start the game, it’s probably not going to end well. Garcia’s line: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 1 K. The tone was set early when Garcia hit J.P. Arencibia with the bases loaded, and Toronto took an early lead. If you were waiting for revenge from yesterday, that wasn’t it.
Courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto attempted to play small ball in the second inning, but they ended up putting three runs on the board. After Juan Encarnacion homered home two runs. This being their 11th win in a row, things are just going Toronto’s way overall. There wasn’t one hop or once bounce that hasn’t gone their way for the past week-and-a-half, and to their credit they’ve taken advantage of that. As I said, they attempted to play small ball, but they ended up with three runs. They turned around and put five more runs on the board in the third, chasing Garcia in favor of T.J. McFarland. The Orioles really got a gem in McFarland incidentally. While he gave up five runs himself in the game, he lasted 4.1 innings. In that situation that’s exactly what you want: a guy that can eat innings. McFarland’s done that several times this year, and it’s helped save the Orioles’ bullpen in a pinch.
The O’s did manage to put some runs on the board, with Nick Markakis following a Manny Machado double with one of his own for the first run. Chris Davis would later reach base on a Bonifacio throwing error, scoring Markakis. Ryan Flaherty had perhaps one of the best offensive games of his career, homering in the top of the seventh and the top of the ninth. However when the opponent is already so far ahead, it makes little difference. However to his credit Flaherty looked locked in at the plate. Toronto also tacked on four runs in the seventh of their own, to run the final score to 13-5.
There were times this entire series where Toronto just appeared to be a step ahead of the Orioles, as if they knew what the pitcher was throwing almost before he did. This was never more true than today, however as I said this Toronto team is really locked in right now. It’s also worth mentioning that they know how to use the advantages of their home park. Their base runners know when to turn on the afterburners when they need to get an extra base. The ball bounces fast and high off of that turf and it gives visiting teams fits while Toronto players know exactly how to play it.
This was a very strange series that had quite a few different things go on, from umpiring situations to disagreements. You can also throw the strange hops in there off the turf as well, but the only thing they all have in common is that the O’s seemed to come out on the short end of the stick on all of them. But that’s part of the game, and Buck Showalter is probably the first one to tell you that you have to deal with all of those things if you want to win. One question I think that’s lingering in the minds of Orioles fans is whether or not we’ll see Freddy Garcia pitch again in Baltimore. I’m not sure if the O’s have anyone that’s banging down to door at triple-A, however Kevin Gausman‘s ten-day “waiting period” in the minors is now over. I don’t think a lot of Orioles’ fans would be against Garcia going down and Gausman coming back up to the club.
The Orioles now return home to Camden Yards to open up a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians tonight. Zach Britton will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Ubaldo Jimenez. The Orioles are facing a new round of roster moves in short order, as Brian Roberts will go out on a rehab assignment tomorrow in Norfolk, and Nolan Reimold is currently on a rehab assignment. I suspect that the Orioles are waiting to bring Reimold up until they can find a trade partner for Travis Ishikawa, however the problem is that other teams know that the Orioles want to trade him as well. One way or the other I suspect that Ishikawa will be a corresponding roster move for one of those guys.