American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, May 30th
(All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (29-21) at Toronto Blue Jays (26-24), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Jason Hammel (6-1, 2.78)
Toronto - Brandon Morrow (5-3, 3.47)
(Sports Network) - Toronto's Brandon Morrow didn't have much to say following
one of the worst outings of his career last Friday.
The right-hander hopes to let his pitching do the talking for him tonight when
the Blue Jays go for a three-game sweep of their series with the Baltimore
Morrow came into last week's outing in Texas with a 1.73 earned run average in
his previous six starts and having thrown a three-hit shutout against the Mets
six days prior.
None of that mattered to the Rangers, who tagged Morrow for six runs on five
hits and three walks on the way to a 14-3 victory. Morrow recorded just two
outs on 44 pitches in the shortest outing of his career.
That is also a good way to describe his postgame press conference, which
lasted only one comment.
"I'm just going to pretend that game never happened," Morrow said. "I'm going
to continue preparing for my next start the way I have been, so I can continue
to go out there and pitch the way I have. That's all I have to say."
The 27-year-old lost for the second time in three starts since a four-game
winning streak and fell to 5-3 in 10 starts this season. He also saw his ERA
jump from 2.63 to 3.47 and manager John Farrell is hoping for a quick recovery
from his hurler.
"This is very uncharacteristic of any of the starts he has had through the
season so far,"Farrell said of Morrow. "I'd like to think this is the
Morrow faced the Orioles back on April 13 and gave up four runs over seven
innings of a no-decision. That included solo homers served up to Robert Andino
and Adam Jones in consecutive innings, and he has a 2-2 record and 4.57 ERA in
13 career meetings with the Orioles, including six starts.
While the Blue Jays are hoping for a return to form for Morrow tonight,
Baltimore is turning to one of its top hurlers so far this year in Jason
Hammel is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA in nine starts and has picked up a victory in
two straight starts and three decisions in a row since his only loss of the
season on April 30. He kept his streak going with a victory over the Royals on
Friday, tossing six scoreless innings of five-hit ball, walking one and
"It was a good mix of being effectively wild and then bearing down when I
needed to," said Hammel, who has battled right knee soreness this year. "I got
myself into trouble in deep counts, but made big pitches."
The 29-year-old righty is 4-0 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 career outings versus the
Blue Jays, making seven starts. He beat them at home on April 25 with seven
scoreless innings two starts after a no-decision in Toronto in which he
allowed two runs over five frames.
The Orioles had won five of six over the Blue Jays this season before dropping
the first two games of this series. Toronto can sweep its first set over
Baltimore since taking all three contests at home from Sept. 24-26, 2010.
Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis paced the offense in Tuesday's 8-6 win, with
Lawrie notching three hits, three RBI and three runs scored. Davis, meanwhile,
also had three hits and drove in two runs to give Toronto its second straight
victory following five losses in a row.
Ricky Romero (6-1) gave up six hits and four runs while fanning seven batters
over six innings. Jason Frasor escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by
inducing a ground ball from Ronny Paulino. Francisco Cordero also worked out
of trouble in the eighth.
"I think, most importantly, was Ricky's ability to continue to go out, put up
zeros when we scored," said Farrell. "Yeah, they did chip away at him for
three runs in his final inning of work, but I thought overall a very good step
in the right direction for Ricky tonight."
Jones homered twice for the Orioles to extend his career-high hitting streak
to 20 straight games. He has posted a .358 average over the streak with eight
homers and 17 RBI.
Chris Davis added three hits, including a two-run shot, but Baltimore lost its
season-high fourth straight contest as well as for the seventh time in its
past nine games. The O's did remain tied with the Rays for first place in the
American League East, while the Blue Jays are now three games off the pace.
Jake Arrieta yielded six hits and seven runs -- six earned -- over 4 1/3
innings and dropped his fourth straight decision. His catcher, Matt Wieters,
was ejected in the fifth inning after a heated exchange with home plate umpire
"I felt like that inning, we threw some good pitches that he didn't call
strikes on some pitches that had been getting called strikes earlier in the
game, and you can't argue balls and strikes, so I had to sit in here," Wieters
said on Baltimore's website.
"There were some calls earlier that I thought went their way that were
close calls, but at the same time, I thought we had a pretty big zone all
night. ... He gave me plenty of rope. ... You can't argue balls and strikes,
and it's something where I knew might be going there [getting ejected], but I
still had to say my piece."
05/30 10:53:36 ET