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 Orioles.
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 aberration."
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.
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 fanning seven.
"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 Doug Eddings.
"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