Baltimore Orioles (95-65) at Toronto Blue Jays (82-78)
Saturday, September 27 - 4:07 PM EST
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
With little mystery left regarding their postseason plans, the Baltimore Orioles hope to avoid their first three-game slide in over a month on Saturday when they continue their series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Orioles clinched the American League East on Sept. 16 and have chosen to give their regulars plenty of rest since. Baltimore lost for the fourth time in six games in Friday’s opener, allowing the Los Angeles Angels to secure home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.
The Orioles, who will host the winner of the AL Central (Detroit or Kansas City) in the best-of-five divisional series beginning next week, haven’t suffered a losing streak of more than two games since getting swept by the Chicago Cubs from Aug. 22-24. Toronto (82-78) assured itself of its first winning season since 2010 with its fourth victory in five tries. Rookie Dalton Pompey carried the Blue Jays with three extra-base hits and two RBIs, becoming the first Toronto player to triple twice in the same game since Alex Rios did it on April 27, 2005.
TV: 4:07 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), SNET (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (16-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Blue Jays LH J.A. Happ (10-11, 4.27)
Chen was on the wrong end of a one-hit shutout on Monday, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits over six innings in a 5-0 setback against the New York Yankees. The loss ended a four-game winning streak and seven-start unbeaten run for the 29-year-old, who fell to 7-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 12 outings since the All-Star break. Chen allowed two runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 frames in a Sept. 15 victory versus the Blue Jays, improving to 1-2 with a 6.32 ERA in three all-time starts against them.
Happ reached the 10-win mark for the third time in his career on Monday, holding Seattle to two runs on seven hits in as many innings en route to a 14-4 victory. The Northwestern alum hasn’t received a lot of help at home since the Midsummer Classic, going only 3-2 despite a 2.41 ERA in six turns at the Rogers Centre – including a loss to Baltimore on Aug. 7 when he fanned 12 over eight frames. Happ has experienced similar luck in his seven career appearances (six starts) against the Orioles, going 1-3 despite a 2.95 ERA.
1. Baltimore has totaled five runs and 12 hits in its last three games in Toronto.
2. Pompey became the third Blue Jays’ rookie to triple twice in the same game, joining Alfredo Griffin (1979) and Shannon Stewart (1997).
3. Suspended Orioles 1B Chris Davis, who will be eligible to return for his team’s ninth playoff contest, played his first game for Baltimore's Instructional League team on Friday.
PREDICTION: Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3