Thu, 20 Jun 2019

Jays going with youth against downtrodden Orioles

Sports Xchange
19 Sep 2018, 15:03 GMT+10

The Baltimore Orioles had little success against the Toronto Blue Jays this season.

So, it seemed fitting their AL East rival handed them a record-setting loss.

The Blue Jays beat the Orioles 6-4 on Tuesday night. Baltimore dropped its 108th game, setting a record for most losses in Orioles history. The overall franchise record for defeats is 111 by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.

Toronto can complete a three-game sweep Wednesday at Camden Yards.

"I've got too many things and people depending on me to do certain things between now and the end of the season," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about the losses. "I think because it's unpleasant to wrap around, probably I'm as guilty as anybody of staying tunnel vision about what we're doing every day trying to do what's best."

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have also struggled throughout the season. However, Toronto has found a way to consistently beat the Orioles, going 14-4 against their AL East rival.

Toronto is using the final stretch of the season to get an extended look at some young players. Manager John Gibbons has been impressed with the overall talent, especially catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, first baseman Rowdy Tellez, shortstop Richard Urena, second baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and pitcher Aaron Sanchez.

"There's something I like in all of them, there really is," Gibbons said. "Go down the line, I like what both of the young catchers are doing, though it gets tougher from here on out. I'm excited about Tellez.

"I think Richie Urena is just scratching the surface. I think Gurriel is starting to come into his own, figuring some things out. Those are the really young guys. And like everybody else, I'm curious to see where Sanchy goes with the finger stuff. So, yeah, stay tuned."

Marco Estrada, who last pitched in New York on Friday, will start the finale. Estrada (7-12, 5.75 ERA) wasn't scheduled to pitch until Thursday but he threw only 55 pitches in his last outing against the Yankees, allowing eight runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings.

Estrada is 9-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts) against Baltimore.

"It's been about as bad as it can get," Estrada said after the setback against the Yankees. "I'm struggling out there and it's not fun. I need to figure it out, get things going in the right direction. If not, take care of everything this offseason and get ready for next year."

The Orioles still have not named a starter for Wednesday because several pitchers are sidelined with injuries. Alex Cobb is dealing with a blister and Andrew Cashner has a knee injury. Rookie Luis Ortiz injured his hamstring during his first major league start Friday and is shut down for the year.

"It will be predicated on how we get through the night," Showalter said.

Baltimore has 11 games remaining in the 2018 season and the franchise can continue building toward the future. The players are ready to put this season behind and begin with a clean slate starting in 2019.

"It's frustrating to say the least," said first baseman Chris Davis, who is having the worst season of his professional career. "Once we hit 100, it was just kind of like, I don't know. I mean, I honestly had no words for it. It was embarrassing, it was frustrating. It's one of those things you never want to be associated with. At the same time, you've got to learn how to turn the page and start somewhere. Why not start now? I mean, I'm not sure where we're headed, but at some point you've got to change it up, I guess."

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