The visiting Toronto Blue Jays will have two chances to start a new streak Saturday after the Baltimore Orioles ended their eight-game winning streak on Friday night.
The teams will play a doubleheader after the Orioles won the opener of the four-game series 6-3 on a three-run home run in the seventh inning by Anthony Santander against Julian Merryweather.
The loss kept the Blue Jays (77-63) from moving into the second American League wild-card spot occupied by the New York Yankees, who also lost Friday. New York maintains a half-game lead over Toronto.
The Orioles (46-94) seem to be enjoying their role as spoilers. They won two of three games last weekend against the Yankees, who then were swept at home by the Blue Jays in a four-game series. The Orioles have won eight of their past 16 games after losing 19 straight.
There was some fire to the game. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was shouting from the dugout with profanity during the second inning at Blue Jays left-hander Robbie Ray, who gestured at him to come out to the mound.
Hyde apologized after the game to the fans, Ray and the Blue Jays for his language and said that he should have handled the situation better. He added that he was “surprised” by accusations that were made during the game.
“That’s why it caught me off guard to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “That’s why I reacted the way I did, sticking up for our guys. We do things the right way here. We play the game the right way and we do things the right way in the dugout. I felt like our guys were being targeted a little bit and I wish I would have handled it a little differently than I did.”
It is not certain what accusations were being made, but Ray, who allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, said after the game that it was “curious” that the Orioles were not swinging at his slider.
Ray would not comment further on the exchange,
“I’m not going to waste my time on someone who doesn’t get into the box,” he said. “I don’t have the time of day.”
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said, “I don’t want to comment. … All I know is my guy kept his composure, stayed focused and did the job. And that’s why we stayed in the game. That’s what I’m going to say about that.”
Toronto will start left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (13-8, 3.77 ERA) in the first game of the twin bill. He is 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts against the Orioles this season and 4-1 with a 3.19 mark in seven career starts against them.
Left-hander Keegan Akin (2-8, 7.00) will start one of the games for Baltimore. He has made two starts against the Blue Jays this year, both on the road, going 1-1 while allowing seven runs in 9 1/3 innings.He is 1-1 with a 5.94 ERA in four career starts against them.
The Orioles did not name another starter. Montoyo said that it is possible that right-hander Ross Stripling (5-6, 4.34), activated from the injured list (oblique strain) on Friday, could start the second game.
Toronto optioned infielder Kevin Smith to Triple-A Buffalo Friday to make room for Stripling.
Hyde said on Friday that right-handers Matt Harvey (knee) and Jorge López (ankle) would not pitch again this season.
–Field Level Media