Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman will make his first appearance against the team he debuted with in the finale of the four-game series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon.
The Blue Jays will be out to clinch the series after taking two of the first three games.
After squandering a 5-0 lead on Wednesday, Toronto won 7-6 in 10 innings on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s fourth hit of the game. It was Guerrero’s first career walk-off RBI.
Gausman, who was Baltimore’s first-round pick (fourth overall) in the 2012 draft, made his major league debut in Toronto when he started for the Orioles on May 23, 2013. He allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings to take the loss.
He went 39-51 with a 4.22 ERA in his six seasons with the Orioles, who traded him to the Atlanta Braves on July 31, 2018. He went on to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants before signing as a free agent with the Blue Jays in December.
Gausman (5-5, 2.67 ERA) will face Orioles right-hander Tyler Wells (3-4, 3.86).
Wells is 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in six career games against Toronto, all in relief, covering 6 2/3 innings.
Guerrero’s four-hit game was the third of his career and included a solo home run, his 16th long ball of the season. He is on a six-game hitting streak, going 13-for-27 (.481) with a double, three homers and eight RBIs in that span.
The surge is occurring after Guerrero struggled in May, when he hit .217 with just three homers and eight RBIs in 26 games.
“I thought it was more mental than anything else,” Guerrero said. “I wasn’t enjoying the game the way you guys know I enjoy the game. When I was in Detroit (last weekend), I thought about that and said from now on I’m going to be myself, and from that point on, everything clicked.”
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said, “It’s something we are waiting for, kind of. He’s going OK, but we are waiting for the MVP-type Vlad Guerrero to show up, and he showed up today, for sure, and that’s great to see. We all know that if he gets going, he can carry this team.”
Toronto’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Wednesday with two singles. He is batting .475 (19-for-40) with seven RBIs during the streak. Meanwhile, teammate George Springer went 0-for-5 to end a 24-game on-base streak.
Baltimore first baseman Ryan Mountcastle hit two more home runs on Wednesday. He has three homers in the series and 12 for the season. He also has 12 in his career against Toronto.
“Mounty’s seeing the ball extremely well right now and taking great at-bats, and got two huge homers for us,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman hit his first career home run in the fourth inning, a two-run shot. The RBIs were also his first in the bigs, and he had a double as well.
“He’s been taking good at-bats. He’s just not getting a ton of results,” Hyde said. “Tonight, he really swung the bat. He drove two baseballs. Good to see him get his first one out of the way.”
The Orioles designated left-hander Zac Lowther for assignment on Wednesday and claimed infielder Jonathan Arauz off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. Arauz was then optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
The swelling on Trey Mancini’s hand has subsided, and the Orioles first baseman could be available off the bench Thursday. Mancini was hit by a pitch while striking out in the series opener on Monday.
–Field Level Media